The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation recently named two Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine students recipients of the 2013 Physicians of Tomorrow Award.
Kyle Davis was one of 15 recipients nationwide to receive the Physicians of Tomorrow Award, while John Corker was one of two recipients to receive the Johnson F. Hammond, M.D., Physicians of Tomorrow Award for medical journalism.
Davis and Corker each received a $10,000 scholarship to defray medical school expenses. Recipients were nominated by their medical schools and chosen based upon academic achievement and financial need.
Diagnosed at six months with hemophilia, a rare blood clotting disorder caused by inactive or deficient blood proteins, Davis has known since he was a child that he wanted to enter the pediatric hematology/oncology field.
Davis, a fourth-year medical student, had ankle bleeds at least once every two weeks. When he was seven, he started prophylactic, or preventative, treatment with his parents’ help. When he was a teenager, his hemophilia nurse trained him to self-infuse the missing blood factor.
Prophylactic treatment helps prevent bleeds. “When I develop a bleed, I’m unable to walk for at least one day,” he said. “I’ll be in pain for two days after that. Strictly adhering to my prophylactic treatment helps to prevent those bleeds.”
During middle and high school, he played baseball, basketball and ran cross-country. But he developed arthritis in his right ankle. “I’m frustrated that hemophilia has limited me in that way,” he said. “Because I can’t run anymore, I bought a road bike and started biking.”
He self-infuses every other day. “Being medically inclined, I’m highly motivated to maintain my treatment regimen,” said Davis, who wants to serve as a mentor to people with hemophilia.
Davis is one of 18 national community speakers with Baxter Healthcare True Identity Program. He educates families and patients about the importance of adhering to prophylactic treatment. He also spoke before the Ohio Health and Human Services Subcommittee as an advocate for funding the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps program in April 2011.
He has served as the co-president of the Boonshoft School of Medicine Pediatrics Club and as vice president of Phi Rho Sigma, a service organization. His medical school peers recognized him for his commitment to service and patient care by nominating him for the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society.
His interest in international health led Davis on a Boonshoft School of Medicine Global Health Initiative medical mission trip to Peru. He also traveled to Paris, France, to attend the 2012 World Federation of Hemophilia World Congress.
“Hemophilia has shaped my life,” said Davis, who wants to become the director of a hematology/oncology center in the United States and dedicate a portion of his career to international health care. “I know my life as a hemophilia patient will provide unique insight to my patients’ experiences and will allow me to better understand their needs.”
Corker received the AMA’s Johnson F. Hammond, M.D., Physicians of Tomorrow Award for his commitment to medical journalism. From the inception of the Next Generation Journal, an online publication through which college students, graduate students and young professionals contribute to the national and international conversations, Corker has served as the health care correspondent. He has written about health care current events, health policy and medical ethics. His work also has been published in USA Today and Primary Care Progress.
He helped develop Radio Rounds (radiorounds.org), the nation’s first medical talk show created and hosted entirely by medical students. “Our show highlights humanism in medicine and seeks to bring together physicians, medical students, pre-medical students and the general public for discussion about our profession’s most important stories and pressing issues,” he said. “We share today’s most interesting and empowering medical stories through the unique lens of tomorrow’s doctors.”
As host and director he has helped to grow the show and served as the health policy correspondent. He also led an ongoing series exploring health care reform in Washington, D.C., and across the United States. Radio Rounds has recorded live shows at the American Medical Student Association national convention and other medical school orientations.
Corker also was the AMA’s 2012-2013 Government Relations Advocacy Fellow. He was interviewed by Bloomberg News for a feature article on medical student debt and was asked to speak on behalf of the AMA on the same issue for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau field hearing in Miami, Fla.
“While I look forward to a long clinical career caring for patients in the emergency room, I also hope to apply my lifelong passions for discovery, writing and teaching on a broader scale as a medical journalist,” Corker said.