Donors and Scholars: Supporting the Future of Medicine
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A few weeks into medical school, while shadowing an oncologist, Raksha Narasimhan, M.D./M.P.H. candidate, Class of 2027 at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, met a stage 3 breast cancer patient who only spoke Spanish. Raksha noticed that the woman was nervous, so she used her limited knowledge of Spanish to reassure and guide her.
This small gesture helped the woman relax and tell the aspiring physician in Spanish, “I’m happy you’re going to be a doctor.”
“To this day, remembering her words, uttered so early on in my medical career, gives me the chills,” Narasimhan recounted at the Miller School’s annual Medical Education Donors and Scholars Celebration. “When I think of this woman, I remember the kind of doctor I want to be for my patients. I remember why I chose this field.”
Narasimhan is a first-generation, first-year medical student supported by a scholarship.
“Your gifts have paved the way for so many of us to pursue a dream that would have otherwise been impossible—to serve and uplift the communities we represent,” Narasimhan said of the donors who contribute to the University of Miami Miller School scholarship program.
Students and Staff Express their Gratitude
Raksha and her peers shared their stories during the luncheon and thanked donors who support their scholarships. Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., Miller School of Medicine dean and chief academic officer, also expressed his appreciation to the donors.
“Your support of our students is what makes the Miller School exceptional and on track to become one of the nation’s premier medical schools,” said Dean Ford. “You allow our medical students to attend an extraordinary medical school, learn from talented faculty and access brilliant research opportunities.”
Dean Ford also recognized donors for the scholarships they have funded, including:
- Dr. Lourdes Sanjenis, a resident alumna and member of the Medical Parents Council, who established the Dr. Modesto M. Mora Family Medical Scholarship.
- Dr. Tatiana Lawer-Garcia and Dr. Nelson Garcia, Class of 1996, co-presidents of the Miller School’s Medical Parents Association and members of the Medical Parents Council, who established The Dr. and Mrs. Nelson Garcia-Morales Endowed Medical Scholarship.
- Dr. Sherry Hammersly, and Dr. Frank Czerwiec, both from the Class of 1990, who endowed the Bernard J. Fogel, M.D., ’61 Memorial Scholarship.
- Dr. Francisco Flores, Class of 1995, who established the Francisco Flores, M.D., Endowed Scholarship.
- Dr. Javier Flores and Dr. Elsy Carbot-Flores, who established the Javier Flores, M.D., and Elsy Carbot-Flores, M.D., Endowed Scholarship.
- John Edward Smith, who represents the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation.
- Phillip Seipp, Norby Rudel and Maria Rudel, who represent the Rotary Club of Miami.
- Contributors to the John K. Robinson Scholarship and endowed class scholarships.
The Donors and Scholars Celebration was held at the Newman Alumni Center on January 20. Executive Dean for Education Latha Chandran, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., opened the event after attendees viewed a video featuring scholarship recipient and Miller School student Akiem George, an M.D. candidate in the Class of 2024.
“I am so proud of all that our students are accomplishing,” said Dr. Chandran, also the founding chair of the Department of Medical Education and the Bernard J. Fogel Chair in Medical Education. “Esteemed guests, these are the faces of the future of medicine. With your help, we are revolutionizing the way future physicians are educated and making our graduates among the most sought after in the nation.”