For her passion for advancing women in health care fields, third year UC College of Medicine student Rachel Mistur was recently named the 2014 recipient of the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Scholarship, providing $20,000 for tuition costs.
The scholarship is awarded annually on the basis of outstanding academic achievement, community involvement, leadership and involvement in women’s health care. The 2014 scholarship includes an increase in funds from previous years—part of an increased commitment from the Charlotte R. Schmidlapp Fund Fifth Third Bank Trustee for 2013-2015.
Mistur, originally from Cleveland, says she felt lucky to have been nominated for the scholarship, but was "ecstatic” to learn she had won it.
"Pursuing medical school has been a considerable financial commitment for me. Receiving a scholarship of this size will be tremendously helpful in paying for my education,” she says. "I feel honored to be the recipient of the Schmidlapp scholarship and I plan to continue supporting women’s health initiatives throughout my career.”
Mistur has been involved with women’s issues since the beginning of her higher education career, where she co-chaired a Women in Medicine committee during her undergraduate years at Columbia University.
She came to UC after earning a master’s degree in Biology while working full-time at New York University.
"Doing graduate work in the sciences helped confirm my desire to attend medical school,” she says. "I’ve had excellent mentors throughout my education who have helped fuel my passion for science and medicine.”
At UC, Mistur completed a master’s degree in Physiology before entering medical school. As a second-year student, she served as president of the UC Chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association, where she helped organize a banquet for women in medicine and a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness.
She says the chapter’s focus has revolved around trying to connect students with female mentors, promote awareness of women’s health issues and help students succeed in medicine as a whole.
"One of our goals was to provide a forum for female students and physicians to discuss the challenges they have faced as women in medicine,” she says. "Topics such as self-advocacy and establishing work-life balance are concerns of a lot of young women entering such a demanding career field.”
She says groups like national AMWA and their local chapters have helped to increase these types of conversations.
In preparation for her fourth year of school and the following residency, Mistur will spend a month of her summer rotating with the UC Health Dermatology department. She plans to apply to dermatology residency programs starting this fall.