Georgetown Medical Student Receives Prestigious AMA Foundation Honor

Posted in GUMC Stories

SEPTEMBER 12, 2014—A Georgetown University School of Medicine (new window) student is among 21 fourth-year medical students nationwide to receive a “Physicians of Tomorrow” Award from the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation (new window).

Derek Rogalsky (M’15) was the recipient of the award, which recognizes academic achievement through $10,000 scholarships. 

“Receiving this award is a tremendous honor and I am very thankful to the Georgetown community that made it possible,” Rogalsky says.

Recipients were nominated by their medical schools and selected based upon academic achievement and financial need.

Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD, MBA (new window), dean for medical education at the School of Medicine, describes Rogalsky as “a leader among peers and faculty in his outreach to inner city, his discussion and inquiry into kidney transplantation, medical education, medical student debt and major life choices. He will remain a leader long after graduation.”

Rogalsky says his classmates and faculty are a constant source of encouragement and inspiration.

“There is no doubt that medical school is tough on both the body and the mind, and the support of my friends and classmates has been essential to my success,” he says. “The administration at the medical school has also shown unwavering, student-centered support.”

Setting Sights on Surgery

Rogalsky recently finalized his coursework for Georgetown’s Medical Education Research Scholar Track (new window), a formal, longitudinal curriculum that aims to expose students interested in a career in academic medicine to teaching and learning in a clinical setting.

“Having recently completed the track, I can say with confidence that I got everything I could hope for and more from the additional curriculum,” Rogalsky says.

Rogalsky hopes to become a surgeon upon graduation.

“I’ve chosen surgery because it is a profession uniquely equipped to help people in their most desperate hour of need,” says Rogalsky. “This gives surgeons the privilege to be present and have great influence over the most important moments in patients’ lives.”

The Georgetown Experience

Having completed his undergraduate studies at Seattle University, another Jesuit institution, Rogalsky was drawn to Georgetown’s Jesuit principles and the ideal of serving others.

Prior to entering medical school, he volunteered for a year with The Haitian Project (new window), a nonprofit Catholic mission in Croix De Bouquets, Haiti, teaching classes, mentoring students and coordinating institutional responses to cholera.

He says he attributes Georgetown’s appeal to its sense of community, making it easy for one to feel at home.

“I think [the fact that I received] the AMA scholarship award is really indicative of a thriving academic community here motivated by sound underlying principles, which place patients and students first,” Rogalsky says.

By Sarah Reik
GUMC Communications