Fourth-year Medical Student Shares His Gratitude for Scholarship Support

As Match Day 2021 approaches, Richard Campbell, a fourth-year University of Minnesota Medical School student, reflects on his medical school journey, the impact of scholarship support and his aspirations for the future.

Campbell, originally from Freetown, Sierra Leone in Africa, received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, before beginning his medical degree at the U of M Medical School. He will graduate this spring.

Why is practicing medicine important to you?

My zeal for practicing medicine has evolved over time, but the core values of helping people remains. I believe we must not only treat disease and injuries, but we need to be aware of the social inequities that so many of our patients face. I am an underrepresented minority in the field of medicine. As hard as I have worked to get to this stage in my life, I acknowledge the support of people who made this dream possible. I am privileged and inspired to be part of a community of support for others both medically and socially.

What experiences in life inspired you to pursue medicine?

I grew up with incredibly limited access to healthcare. Through great mentoring in college, I realized that I had the potential to embark on this medical journey. Eventually, I want to give back to communities that have so little. Even though I would love to go back to Africa and help build the healthcare infrastructure, local communities in the Twin Cities need significant help.

With Match Day right around the corner, how are you feeling now that you are in your final semester, and into what specialty are you hoping to match?

I hope to match into emergency medicine. With the final semester in full swing, I feel incredibly grateful and lucky to have gone through this experience over the last four years. I am incredibly proud of my classmates who continue to elevate and support each other both academically and socially. The pandemic has been challenging but has also highlighted the resilience and genuine kindness of the medical community. Wherever I may end up in the next few months, I look forward to practicing the best medicine I can and help make a positive impact in the local community. 

During your time at the Medical School, you earned several scholarships, including the Joseph W. Dassett, M.D. Endowed Scholarship, Dr. Gary and Mrs. Barbara Hanovich Scholarship, Glenda Taylor Huston Scholarship of Courage and Dr. Arne T. & Miriam Lagus Scholarship. What would you like to tell scholarship donors about the impact of their support?

I come from a very low socioeconomic status, and sometimes for people like me, finances can be a roadblock to achieving higher education. When I learned about my scholarship support, I was ecstatic and grateful. Scholarships have allowed me to focus on my schoolwork and be the best I can be. This also meant that I could dedicate more volunteering hours to help those in need. Scholarships are an investment that will benefit many, especially the underserved in my future practice. I want to say a big thank you to scholarship donors — I am deeply grateful for your kind generosity. Rest assured that this kindness will be paid forward.

To learn more about supporting scholarships at the Medical School, contact Carrie Albers, director of development, at albersc@umn.edu or 612-626-8481.

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