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David Geffen School of Medicine

Scholars' Voices Speak Volumes

IT COMES AS NO SURPRISE that medical school is expensive: The annual cost for the Class of 2011 is $48,521. This year, nearly 90 percent of students rely on financial aid to cover some portion of their costs. The UCLA Medical Alumni Association tries to help with scholarships. Below are the voices of some of this year’s recipients.

When I was first notified that I had been selected, I was overjoyed and stunned. This scholarship has allowed me to decrease my loans for this year, which is a huge relief. More important, this award reminds me that the UCLA MAA is committed to supporting the success of medical students. With this award, I am motivated to continue working hard as a medical student, and I will use this inspiration as I continue my training.  — Mario Perez (M.D. ’09)

The word “thankful” does not begin to describe my initial reaction when I found out about the Mellinkoff Scholarship. It has helped me tremendously, especially in the midst of interviewing for various residency programs across the country. The obvious support from our alumni has inspired me to become the best physician I can be and to give back as an alumna in the future. — Christine Chen (M.D. ’09)

I was surprised and honored to receive the Mellinkoff Award. This generous award was a great gesture of kindness and a tremendous help to me during a period of economic hardship, and it has further motivated me to support the cause of the Medical Alumni Association during my future career. — Ali Mehdizadeh (M.D. ’09)

I received a much-appreciated scholarship. I was blown away when I was informed of the scholarship, as it definitely came as a great financial relief. More than that, though, it made it possible for my wife and me to start our family while in medical school. The Class of 1955 really came through and allowed me to concentrate on school and our family, which now includes a rambunctious 15-month-old son. — Ryan Martin (M.D. ’10)

Intern year brings with it quite a bit of stress, not the least of which involves finally having my first paying job and the responsibility of paying back my student loans. Receiving this scholarship eases this transition and will allow me to concentrate on what intern year is all about – growing as a young physician. No one can understand this more than alumni, and I can only hope that I will be able to emulate generosity such as this later in my career. — Nicole Kalani Hetzer (M.D. ’09)

The announcement of the Medical Alumni Association’s Mellinkoff Scholarship came as a very-encouraging surprise. It means a lot to know that someone believes in me and is willing to invest in my future. The timing couldn’t be better with the additional fourthyear expenses of board exams and residency interviews. — Brittany Joy Kazmierski (M.D. ’09)

I received word about the Margaret Thornton Scholarship the same week my wife delivered our second child. With a new addition to our family, funds are definitely tight, and receiving the awarded money helps greatly to ease the stress. This was an unanticipated blessing that goes a long way to helping me focus on my family and education, two of the most-important aspects of my life right now. — Robert Boyer (M.D. ’10)


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