Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine student Colleen McCormick is one of only 18 rising medical students across the nation to receive an American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation 2012 Physicians of Tomorrow Award.
Each student received a $10,000 scholarship to defray medical school expenses. Recipients were nominated by their medical schools and chosen based upon academics, financial need and community involvement.
“We are recognizing the exceptional qualities of these students at this stage in their careers,” said AMA Foundation President Clarence Chou, M.D. “We want to acknowledge their significant accomplishments in academics and community service and hope to follow them as they progress in serving their patients and their communities.”
McCormick is in her fifth year of a five-year dual degree program, the Physician Leadership Development Program, which offers medical students an innovative program through which they can obtain a master’s degree in business or public health while pursuing their medical degree over five years.
She will graduate in May 2013 with a Doctor of Medicine degree and a Master of Public Health. At medical school, Colleen has been the president of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She also has been involved in Boonshoft for Health Care Improvement, the Association for American Medical Colleges, the International Health Program, Finding Meaning in Medicine and Reach Out of Montgomery County. In addition, she has taught as a tutor in the medical school and in several undergraduate-level Spanish classes at Wright State University.
“Colleen has excelled in medical school. She has always ranked among the top in her class,” said Gary LeRoy, M.D., associate dean for student affairs and admissions. “She is involved in various research projects, including the immunization of pregnant and postpartum women to protect infants. She has shared the medical skills she has learned with patient populations in the Dayton area and internationally in Honduras and Bolivia.”
McCormick wants to be a part of academic medicine, quality improvement initiatives and community-based health care interventions.
“The educational experiences in this M.D./M.P.H. leadership program have given me a new perspective on medicine and health care,” said McCormick, who is a graduate of Chaminade-Julienne Catholic High School in Dayton and earned her undergraduate degree in biology and Spanish at the University of Notre Dame. “While I am still invigorated by caring for individual patients, I also am motivated to change the health of the population.”
Excited about her future and ready to build upon the foundation she has received at Wright State, McCormick is applying to pediatric residency programs. “Through leadership seminars with the students in my class, as well as participation in leadership opportunities within the dual-degree program, I have grown in many ways,” she said. “I feel ready to start participating in health care challenges facing local communities, the U.S. population and the international community.”
McCormick wants to work with children to help prevent chronic diseases, change behaviors before children become ingrained in unhealthy habits and encourage safe practices. “As physicians, we have a responsibility to improve our world,” she said. “As a future physician-leader, I plan to educate, promote behavior change and help improve the health of our population.”