The physicians of Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and SurgiCenter(MMC) are proud to announce a new scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to a U.S. medical/osteopathic school student from our local region who is also a member of a minority group that is underrepresented in medicine.
In 2020, the physicians at MMC established a charitable foundation to advance its mission to foster continuous improvement in our community’s health. MMC’s Board of Directors developed a Diversity Committee, led by one of MMC’s Vascular Surgeons, David M. Chatman, M.D. Comprised of a diverse group of physicians, the committee set a goal to enhance the diversity of the Rutherford County medical community through the recruitment and development of physicians from minority groups that are typically underrepresented in medicine. These groups include African-American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Native American/American Indian or Alaska natives, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or lower socioeconomic status. One method to achieve this goal was to work through the newly formed foundation to establish a scholarship for minority students on the path to medical school.
The scholarship was inspired by Rutherford County’s own Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund (created by the late Dr. George Smith and Mary Scales), which was created in 1984 to help address concerns regarding the African American achievement gap in the local area.
“Representation matters,” said Dr. Chatman. “There are physical, educational, social, and economic barriers which serve to dissuade diverse students from seeking leadership opportunities and membership within dissimilar communities. Diversity in representation helps to break these barriers down, and helps to normalize and realize the American dream for all Americans.”
MMC has recognized the need to keep up with the growth in our community. Rutherford County has been ranked as one of the fastest growing counties in the state and the country. That growth has led to more diversity among our community and patients. MMC’s physicians and leadership have recognized the need to support and foster more diversity among healthcare professionals locally and across our region. Thus the MMC Foundation, Inc. and the scholarship came to fruition at the end of 2020.
“When my wife and I were choosing pediatricians for our children, we thought it would be important to choose a female pediatrician for our daughters so that they could see a woman in such an important role to inspire them to pursue dreams and careers that may not normally be filled by women,” notes Joey Peay, MMC’s Chief Executive Officer. He continued, “As a group, the Clinic’s leadership wanted to assist the members of our community’s minority groups so that their children can see members of the same ethnic group in such prominent positions of leadership in the community. If we can help inspire local minority students to achieve their goal of attending medical school and becoming a physician, the program will have been a success!”Final details and criteria will be available soon. Students interested in applying for the 2021-2022 school year are encouraged to follow MMC’s Facebook page and website for more details and updates.