Omar Washington, a fourth-year student at the UC Davis School of Medicine, has received a TYLENOL Future Care Scholarship, awarded annually to help students who have chosen careers in health care and excel in leadership, academic performance and community involvement.
Washington was one of 10 students selected to receive a $10,000 scholarship. Thirty other students received $5,000 scholarships. The awards are to be used for tuition, books, fees, supplies and equipment.
Washington recently received a $4,000 Dr. Ellamae Simmons Medical Student Scholarship from the Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Association.
Washington, who earned his bachelor's degree in microbiology in 2007 from Portland State University, has received numerous previous honors in recognition of his leadership qualities, community service and academic achievements. They include induction into the UC Davis Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, a scholarship from the UC Davis Leadership Council, a Kaiser Permanente Northern California Scholarship and a UC Davis School of Medicine Dean's Scholarship.
Among his many volunteer activities, Washington has served as co-chair of the UC Davis School of Medicine Diversity Council, facilitator for the UC Davis School of Medicine Culture in Medicine Workshop, and president of the Student National Medical Association. He has served as co-director of the Imani Clinic, a free community clinic that serves uninsured patients in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento. The clinic is operated by UC Davis medical students, with the assistance of volunteer physicians.
In his application essay, Washington said he plans to become an emergency medicine physician "to treat a wide array of acute and chronic conditions with care and compassion while serving a vital role in the community. I'd also like to establish a clinic in my community for the disadvantaged similar to Imani Clinic."
Washington also is considering a career in academic medicine based on his experience at UC Davis.
"I've begun to appreciate the positive impact even one person can make by supporting youth outreach for careers in medicine and recruiting students from disadvantaged backgrounds," Washington stated. "If I can accomplish both the immediate 'hands-on' medicine and long-term policymaking, I will achieve my dream and my mission to give back in a way that ultimately helps decrease the disparities for the disadvantaged in our health-care system today."