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UCSF medical student Derek Smith awarded the AMA Excellence in Medicine Minority Scholars Award

June 15, 2017

Derek Smith, a third-year medical student at UCSF, received this year’s American Medical Association (AMA) Excellence in Medicine Minority Scholars Award in recognition of his dedication and efforts in pediatrics and initiatives to help deliver more equitable care to underserved pediatric populations. 

Smith has already helped coordinate a student-run free clinic in San Francisco's Mission neighborhood that serves marginalized communities, acted as treasurer of the Student National Medical Association’s Region 1, worked in a pediatric surgery lab at UCSF, and served on UCSF's admission committee.  

The AMA Foundation’s Excellence in Medicine Awards program – which includes the minority scholar’s component – recognizes physicians who exemplify the highest values of volunteerism, community engagement, leadership and dedication to the care of underserved populations. The 2017 Excellence in Medicine program is made possible in part through the continued generous support of Pfizer, PhRMA and Novo Nordisk.

“Derek has demonstrated incredible potential in pediatrics and inspiring devotion to serving under-resourced populations in our communities,” says Catherine Lucey, MD, UCSF’s Vice Dean for Medical Education, Executive Vice Dean for the School of Medicine, Professor of Medicine, and The Faustino and Martha Molina Bernadett Presidential Chair in Medical Education. “I am confident that he will make invaluable contributions to society as a physician-leader dedicated to community empowerment, social justice, and health equity.”

"It is an honor to receive this award,” says Smith. “My training at UCSF has already given me a glimpse at what becomes possible in caring without borders in our communities, and working with children from all backgrounds equally deserving of quality healthcare and support resources.”

Learn more about the AMA Foundation’s Excellence in Medicine Awards program.