The New Mexico-based Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) has received a $1.6 million gift from an anonymous donor to fund 33 new scholarships for its medical students.
The college announced on Monday that the gift will establish a new scholarship program that will support 14 students with $100,000 over the course of their four years in medical school, while another 19 students will receive one-time scholarships of $10,000.
Victoria Pineda, the director of institutional advancement at BCOM, said that the scholarship programs will help retain more physicians in underserved areas within the state.
“This private foundation strongly supports the mission of BCOM and SWFOER — to bring more doctors to New Mexico and the Southwest region of the U.S.,” Pineda said. “We’re so excited they are supporting these aspiring physicians. It’s not just an investment in students, it’s an investment in the health and future of New Mexico.”
Scholarship recipients must agree to complete a clinical rotation in various cities in the Southeastern New Mexico hub, which currently lacks quality healthcare and physicians. Additionally, students who receive $100,000 must agree to return to New Mexico and practice as a physician for four years after completing their residency training.
“A program like this guarantees to bring doctors back to our region,” Don Peska, BCOM college dean and chief academic officer, said. “This gift is going to make an extraordinary impact on New Mexico, bringing physicians back to communities that truly need their help and expertise.”