JCJC student earns Rural Physicians Scholarship

Written By: Teresa Martin
Email Address: teresa.martin@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2013-05-16 07:08:47

ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College sophomore graduate, Dannya Spradley is one of only five Junior/Community College students to be chosen to participate in the Mississippi Rural Physicians (MRP) scholarship undergraduate program. Laurel’s Spradley will receive rural physician mentoring, academic enrichment on rural health care topics, MCAT preparation and consideration for Direct Admissions to medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), where she may also receive a $30,000 per year scholarship. 
“It is a great honor and a testament to our faculty and Dannya that we are able to provide a competitive science curriculum to prepare students like Dannya for their lofty goals,” said JCJC Science Division Chair and instructor, Eric Shows. “I’m glad we were able to help Dannya achieve her goals at this point in her education.”
Spradley competed with thousands of students from universities and community colleges throughout the state for this unique opportunity. JCJC physics instructor, Mary Boleware said she is confident in Spradley’s abilities to continue to succeed.
“She has a ‘never give up’ attitude and she could have easily given up. Her problem solving abilities have improved this semester and she has managed to juggle the demands of applying for this scholarship and overcoming numerous obstacles,” said Boleware.
Persevering through internet issues, confusing deadline dates during the application process, three rounds of interviews in Jackson for the scholarship and a rigorous course load, Spradley said nothing could dissuade her from being a doctor. Over her young lifetime, she’s endured through her mother’s thirteen surgeries while in junior high school and her father’s medical disabilities, as well as numerous family members’ battle with cancer. All of these tragedies inevitably drove Spradley’s desire to become a doctor so she could better understand how the body functions.
“I’ve always wanted to help people and I love learning how the body works. Nothing bothers me, blood or guts. I’m curious about everything,” said the aspiring family medicine practitioner. “I like the idea of family medicine because you get to know your patients, its hands on and it’s more personal. I also think I’ll be able to help them more at this level because I’m more likely to see them often.”
With plans to attend William Carey University for the next two years and then UMMC in Jackson, Spradley said she hopes to return to the area as part of her commitment to rural health. Being a MRP Scholar, she is obligated to spend a year in rural Mississippi for every year the program provided her financial assistance, which could be four to eight years.
“I love to travel but I also want to be close to home,” said the Northeast Jones graduate. “My ultimate desire is to be able to practice close to home.”
Spradley’s academic advisor and JCJC science instructor Austin Smith said the MRPSP is a perfect fit for Spradley. “I don’t know of a more deserving student. It’s going to change her life by opening doors for her. She is the epitome of what you look for in a great student and Spradley makes teaching rewarding.”
The MRPSP was created by the Mississippi Legislature, in 2007 to increase the number of primary care physicians in rural or medically underserved areas of the state. Students chosen for this scholarship training program will spend three or four years in post medical school training depending on their specialty. For more information about the MRPSP program check out the web page at http://mrpsp.umc.edu


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