Stritch student receives AMA Foundation’s DREAM MD Equity Scholarship
Award supports first generation medical students; recognizes their contributions to health care
September 3, 2021
By Taylor Utzig
Loyola University Chicago student Sumbul Siddiqui is the recipient of the American Medical Association Foundation (AMAF)’s DREAM MD Equity Scholarship. The $10,000 annual award, underwritten by the Vandenberg Health Equity Fund, is given to a medical student beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and/or a first-generation immigrant to the United States.
The DREAM MD Equity Scholarship recognizes the unique experiences and challenges facing these students. Equally important, it acknowledges their commitment to public advocacy for the equitable treatment of immigrants.
“The DREAM MD Equity Scholarship highlights the enormous asset to the future physician workforce that DACA medical students represent,” said Mark Kuczewski, PhD, director, Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics & Health Policy, Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine. “The scholarship is visionary in its support for such outstanding leaders in the medical student community who are systemically excluded from key financial aid mechanisms.”
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Siddiqui is pursuing a Doctor of Medicine at Stritch and a Master of Public Health at Loyola’s Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health. A DACA student from Karachi, Pakistan, she has called Georgia home since she was four years old. At Loyola, she has served as the Latino Medical Student Association Mentorship Chair, Policy Chair of the Students for a National Healthcare Program, and DACA Wellness Committee Leader. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped organize and create the COVID Equity Response Collaborative at Loyola to provide free drive through and pop-up COVID testing. Siddiqui hopes to improve access to health care for underserved individuals through medicine, education, and advocacy. Her dream is to open a free clinic while advocating for equitable health care coverage for every person.
“This [scholarship] helps me get one step closer to my dream,” says Siddiqui. “It allows me to focus on being a medical student and physician for my community.”
Nearly 30,000 health care workers are DACA recipients, including medical students, residents, and physicians who depend on DACA for their eligibility to practice medicine. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they are among the frontline heroes and are indispensable to the nation’s health system during ordinary times, as well.