At U.S. medical schools, physicians-in-training are battling the realities of rising tuition and increasing student loan debt. An anonymous donor who recently pledged $5 million to endow a scholarship fund for medical students at Oregon Health & Science University has pledged a second $5 million, bringing the total philanthropic investment to $10 million.
“This transforming philanthropic investment directly supports one of OHSU’s primary goals: to ensure that Oregon’s health care work force needs are met,” said OHSU School of Medicine Dean Mark Richardson, M.D. “We view this as an unprecedented opportunity to support students who have unique skills, life experiences or talents that would enrich OHSU’s student body and Oregon’s physician work force in important ways. The real-world impact of these scholarships is likely to be both enormous and far-reaching.”
The scholarship fund was designed to provide financial support to “high-impact” medical students those with the greatest potential for contributing to Oregon’s future as health care providers, mentors and community leaders.
“One of our current and future missions at OHSU is to meet the increasing need for health care providers in this state. This remarkable gift will play a very important role in this effort,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. “In addition to identifying high-impact students, OHSU is working to further expand our medical class and launch additional programs and partnerships aimed at keeping Oregon-educated physicians in Oregon.”
The initial scholarships provided through this fund will likely be given to students enrolling in the 2011-2012 academic year. To support as many students as possible, the maximum award will be limited to 50 percent of the cost of in-state tuition and fees.
OHSU Foundation President Allan Price said that the gift reflects the donor’s deep understanding of OHSU’s vital role in educating Oregon’s health care work force. “This donor believes that supporting tomorrow’s doctors will make a powerful, sustainable contribution to the health and well-being of our state and its citizens while reducing the indebtedness our graduates carry with them into medical practice. We are deeply grateful for this generous investment,” he said.
Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university and Oregon’s only academic health center. OHSU includes two teaching hospitals; highly ranked schools of medicine, nursing and dentistry; more than 200 health and education outreach programs; and a nationally acclaimed research community comprising dozens of centers and institutes focused on basic, clinical and translational science in the search for new paradigms in the treatment of disease.