George K. Hanna, of Panorama City, Calif., who is completing his first year of medical school at St. Louis University in Missouri won the graduate-level award.
"His deep passion for serving others resonates in his treatment of patients and affinity for making them feel better," said a physician, writing in support of Hanna's application. "Unfortunately, many in the medical profession are concerned with monetary gain, but George understands the true essence of healthcare, as he is concerned with upholding integrity, protecting the underserved and delivering care that is beyond normal expectations."
Hanna, who says he wants to pursue an M.D.-Ph.D. program to become a neurosurgeon and research scientist, was born at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and last year became a patient of the department of neurosurgery when he was seriously injured in a car crash. However, he says he has since made a full recovery.
The program was established seven years ago when math and science scores were down nationwide and many college graduates were opting for more lucrative careers in science and medicine. The Washington Family scholarships are meant to encourage students to pursue professions that offer more than immediate gain, neurosurgeon Keith L. Black, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai, said.