Mariamawit Tamerat, 25, a student at USC's Keck School of Medicine, was awarded a $5,000 mentoring scholarship from Kaiser Permanente for her commitment to providing quality care to Southern California's diverse population.
Tamerat, who is Ethiopian and will begin her third year of medical school in July, was honored on May 15 with 11 other medical students for her leadership and community service at a gala dinner reception at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena.
The Kaiser Permanente Oliver Goldsmith, MD, Scholarship program is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of culturally responsive care. The program, which was established in 2004, will have given out 41 awards and a total of $205,000 to assist medical students.
Each awardee will participate in a mentoring program with a Kaiser Permanente clinician, complete a four-to-six week clinical rotation at a Kaiser Permanente facility, and receive a $5,000 scholarship for their education.
"I was very excited to receive the award," said Tamerat, who said she will use the money to pay off medical loans.
In between her medical studies, Tamerat has been very active in the community. As co-president of the Student National Medical Association, Keck School of Medicine Chapter, Tamerat organizes programs to make medical students of color aware of health issues in undeserved communities.
And once a month, Tamerat reaches out to youth as a volunteer for the Tom Bradley Mini Medical School, where she holds discussions with fourth grade students about topics such as diabetes and nutrition.
Tamerat has also worked as a medical volunteer in Ethiopia for Hiwot HIV/AIDS Prevention, where she designed a format for assessing the health of at-risk youth in Ethiopia and taught health education classes.
Tamerat said that once she completes medical school, she plans to become a pediatrician. "I really enjoy working with children and adolescents and I think I can have a large influence as their physician. I also hope to continue to be a role model in the community," she said.