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School of Medicine Scholarship Donor Luncheon

By Kate McCunniff

April 15, 2010

Faculty, staff, administrators and students recently gathered together to honor donors of the TTUHSC SOM at a luncheon in April.  With almost 100 people in attendance, students had the unique opportunity to eat lunch with and meet the very donors who have made it possible for them to pursue their medical education. Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance and School of Medicine Dean, Dr. Steven Berk both spoke at the luncheon.  They recognized the donors present and also spoke of the significant impact donors have on the School of Medicine.

Student speakers included second year medical student, Bill McCunniff, and fourth year medical student, Nina Resetkova.  McCunniff, a recipient of the Bernhard T. Mittemeyer Presidential Scholarship, recalled the life experiences which shaped his desire to become a physician. He also spoke about the way in which scholarships have enabled him to pursue his dreams in medicine.

“I would not be here if it were not for the scholarships and generosity of you all, the donors who so willingly and selflessly give to medical students just like me. So many of my fellow students are only able to attend medical school today because of you. Your financial support makes each of us want to work even harder to pursue our careers with passion, devotion to people and a dedication to fulfilling our role in society,” McCunniff said.

Bill McCunniff, Dr. Steven Burk, and Nina Resetkova

Resetkova, a recipient of the Nathan Wilson Memorial Scholarship, will soon begin her residency training in Ob/Gyn at Johns Hopkins. She spoke of the ways in which scholarships assisted her in her goal of giving back and of hopefully one day shaping the direction of medicine.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. will have about 750,000 doctors by 2025, about 159,000 fewer than it needs. The U.S. population is expected to increase from 300 million in 2006 to 350 million in 2025, and a larger proportion will be older, thus more likely to need medical care. Last year, because of donor support, the SOM awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships. These scholarships enable the school to address the physician shortage by giving students the opportunities to pursue medicine.