Nestled in between the lights of Fenway Park and the commotion of Kenmore Square stands the luxurious Hotel Commonwealth: the elegant venue for this year’s annual BUSM Scholarship Dinner
In the Fenway Foyer overlooking the city, 31 medical students gathered together to meet their scholarship donors for the first time. Thanks to scholarships established and funded by generous donors each year, students who otherwise could not afford a BUSM education can pursue their dream of becoming a physician. The scholarship funds support their education, and their intellectual, professional and personal development.
While not unique to just BUSM, occasions like this allow students and donors to meet face to face in a time when scholarships are so crucial. According to the Association of American Colleges, seventy-five percent of medical students in the class of 2018 graduated with debt; and among those graduates the average debt was $196,520. Sixty-eight percent of the BUSM Class of 2019 graduated with debt; and among those graduates the average debt was $221,264.
“It’s imperative that students make the most of their medical education. They shouldn’t be limited by boundaries or specialties. As someone whose been doing this forty years, it’s easy to think about what your school gave you and where your career is, and help those in need,” said Dr. Rod Hochman, MED’79.
As the sun set over the skyline, students and donors enjoyed dinner, drinks and dessert in the ballroom. Each student in attendance introduced themselves and shared which specialty they plan to go into, ranging from child neurology to emergency medicine. Dean Karen Antman, MD, introduced Nirisha Commodore, ‘22, and Rebecca Webb, ‘20. Both students shared personal stories and spoke about how their scholarships were a critical component in attending medical school.
“It is no secret that the cost of medical school can have major implications on the careers that physicians ultimately choose. Although many begin training focused on serving their communities, the reality of debt can seem insurmountable. Your investment has helped to lighten this burden and started a path to continue paying it forward,” Ms. Commodore humbly told the audience.
“As a future pediatrician putting myself through medical school, I cannot express the magnitude with which your donations make a difference in funding my education. On behalf of the students at BUSM, I thank you so very much for your incredibly generous gifts of the past and (hopefully) of the future,” said Ms. Webb.
The night came to a close and students parted ways with their donors, but two common, contagious sentiments elevated this special event – honor and gratefulness.