Two students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) have been awarded scholarships from the National Health Service Corps, an organization dedicated to connecting primary care providers to areas in the United States with limited access to health care. Lauren "LB" Canary of the Class of 2024 and Raymond Uymatiao of the Class of 2025 will receive full scholarships for the remainder of medical school in return for placement in underserved areas after residency. They are the first VTCSOM students to be awarded these scholarships.

“As someone who comes from a low socioeconomic background, the debt I have accrued in medical school is substantial,” Canary said. “This scholarship takes the pressure off feeling like I need to pursue a specialty based on salary, but rather gives me the freedom to choose a primary care specialty that most aligns with my values of prevention and access to health care.”

Canary entered medical school having already completed a master’s degree in public health. She is involved in an extensive array of service activities outside of medical school, including serving as a member of the board of directors for the RAM House, founder of the Medical School Pride Alliance, leader of a vaccination program with VTCSOM’s Public Health Club, member of the Rural Health Congress, and advisor for the Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition.

Uymatiao has extensive research experience under his belt. He was a research associate for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Anesthesia Clinical Trials program and a research specialist in the school’s Department of Emergency Medicine. As a member of the Americorps Community Health Corps, he assisted at community health centers. At VTCSOM, he is the founder of Students for a National Health Program and serves in leadership roles in the Humanism in Medicine Club and the Medical Spanish Club.

“I believe that physicians can be great stewards for the communities they find themselves in,” Uymatiao said. “Support from this scholarship will help me play that role for the medically underserved communities I will serve after graduation.”

The National Health Service Corps began in 1972, and currently, 17 million people receive care from nearly 20,000 clinicians serving at service corps-approved sites in urban, rural, and trial communities.


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