RIVERSIDE – At the ninth annual Caring for Our Future Gala event Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Riverside Convention Center, Riverside County Medical Association awarded scholarships to 11 medical students who grew up in Riverside County. Since 2012, Riverside County Medical Association has awarded $328,000 in scholarships to 88 medical students from Riverside County.
Brian Hizon is a first-year medical student at RUSH Medical College in Chicago and a recipient of this year’s Riverside County Medical Association’s Medical Student Scholarship Award.
Riverside County is experiencing a shortage of physicians, and in recent years two medical schools have been built in the Inland Empire to address the shortage. However, with the cost of medical school averaging $60,000 per year, it is normal for medical students to graduate with over $200,000 in debt. Then with three to five years of residency training debt added, new physicians end up owing as much as a home mortgage before their first paying job as a physician.
A son of a Temecula doctor in Temecula, Hizon said he was inspired to practice medicine after learning of his own life-threatening congenital heart defect and the subsequent surgery. Hizon received EMT training at Temecula Valley Hospital and supported himself through college working as an emergency technician.
As a future physician, Hizon said he desires to advocate for the underserved, so that those who are most in need of good health care can receive it.
Hizon participated in community service programs from Temecula, to Skid Row in Los Angeles and the underserved areas of Washington. On a yearlong volunteer assignment as a nursing assistant for a homeless shelter, he provided medical care to the poorest population of the nation’s capital.
After residency, he said he hopes “practicing medicine in Riverside County will allow me to better connect with my patients, because I have been lucky enough to call them my neighbors all my life. This will lead to better patient outcomes, healthier individuals and hopefully flourishing communities across Riverside County.”
Riverside County Medical Association is a voluntary association of physicians who in 2011 created the Medical Student Scholarship Program to help local residents attend medical school, with an emphasis on returning to practice medicine in Riverside County to help alleviate the shortage of doctors to care for our citizens.
For more information on the association’s scholarship program and how to support medical students, visit www.rcmanet.org/scholarships.
Submitted by Riverside County Medical Association.