Translate
${alt}
By Nicole San Roman

UNM School of Medicine Gives Scholarships to All 2024 Graduating MDs

Finishing medical school is a huge milestone for anyone looking towards the future in health care, but it’s by no means the end of the road. Students graduating as a medical doctor (MD) must immediately prepare for their residency training and that additional financial cost. But MDs graduating from The University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine are getting some help.

For the second year in a row, the UNM School of Medicine Alumni Association is giving scholarships to all graduating MDs.
“This is the Alumni Association’s support of the newest members of the alumni as they transition into a new and challenging portion of their journey into medicine. It also marks their entrance into this community that supports one another as alumni.”
Ashley Salazar, Chief Advancement and External Relations Officer, UNM School of Medicine

“This is the Alumni Association’s support of the newest members of the alumni as they transition into a new and challenging portion of their journey into medicine,” said Ashley Salazar, chief advancement and external relations officer for the School of Medicine. “It also marks their entrance into this community that supports one another as alumni.”

This year 65 MD graduates from the School of Medicine will receive the $1,000 Lobo MD scholarship. The remaining members of the class also received Alumni Association scholarships or Match Day scholarships during their final year of medical school at UNM.

“As students graduate and move to residency, there's a lot of financial burden in that transition itself,” Salazar said. She pointed out that it’s not until Match Day when students find out where they’ll be doing their residency. Some may have to move across the country. “They just find out and they have to, in a short amount of time, line up a living situation, travel across the country and start their new position.”

That was the case for Rushi Mankad, MD, who was among the very first students to receive the Lobo MD Scholarship after graduating from UNM in 2022.

“The financial support is tremendously helpful,” Mankad said. “Starting residency, as with many things in medical school, is an expensive process whether you're moving across the country like myself, or even staying local and still having to purchase supplies for graduation, or the various onboarding tasks with starting your new job.”

The idea for the Lobo MD scholarship came in 2021 after the COVID-19 Pandemic from then Alumni Association president Nathaniel Roybal, MD, PhD, (Class of 2007), who had a vision to give every student in the UNM School of Medicine a scholarship.

“That’s over 400 students,” Salazar said. “So, the Association started small and said, ‘okay, what can we do to give every fourth year, graduating student an award?’”

The Alumni Association hosted a fundraiser during their 2021 reunion and raised over $25,000- to give the initial 25 Lobo MD $1,000 scholarships the following year. That was the start of the Lobo MD scholarship, and it has continued to grow with the support of the Association’s current president, Alisha Parada, MD, FACP (Class of 2008).

The Association’s goal is to make sure that their graduates who, in addition to becoming MDs, also become actively engaged as the newest members of the School of Medicine Alumni Association, feel supported and welcomed by their alumni community.

That’s why every year after convocation, the Association hosts a welcome party for its newest members.

“This year’s graduation and welcome party is going to be at Canvas artistry, which is in downtown, just a block away or so from the Albuquerque Convention Center where convocation is taking place,” Salazar said. “The Alumni Association, alumni from across our community, donors to the Lobo MD or alumni scholarships, leadership, as well as the grads themselves and their families are all invited to take part in this grad party reception to meet each other.”

It's a community that the Association hopes will continue to grow and support Lobos long after graduation and into their future medical careers.

“New Mexico is a small and close-knit group of individuals who genuinely want their own to succeed,” Mankad said. “I would not be anywhere close to where I am today if I had not met these special individuals.”

Click here to learn more about how to give and stay connected to the UNM School of Medicine Alumni Association.
Categories: Education, School of Medicine, Top Stories