The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine was Amanda Le’s first choice when it came to selecting a medical school. She loved the research opportunities and the ability to do her clinical training in the region’s leading teaching hospitals.
But figuring out how to pay for medical school was a problem. It wasn’t until Le was offered the Morton and Alma Elterman Endowed Medical Scholarship that she knew she’d be able to see her dream come true.
“The fact that UM gave me a very generous scholarship allowed me to go to my top school,” said Le, an M.D. candidate with the Class of 2019. “It has meant I have much less stress and more flexibility in my career decisions, so I can pursue my passion, which is pediatrics.”
Le was the first recipient of the Morton and Alma Elterman Endowed Medical Scholarship, a need-based financial award established by the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation (PERF), which is led by Miller School alumnus Roy D. Elterman, M.D. ’74, and Donald Shields, M.D., emeritus professor of neurology and pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Named for Dr. Elterman’s parents, the scholarship is one of two that PERF created in 2014 to ensure that the Miller School will always have the ability to attract high-quality students and also be able to provide financial assistance to a deserving student.
The second scholarship, The Dr. Roy D. and Ragen S. Elterman Endowed Medical Scholarship Fund, is a merit-based fund that was awarded to Zachary Schwartz, M.D. candidate, Class of 2021.
Both endowments are supported by a $2 million donation provided by PERF, a not-for-profit foundation that supports research in pediatric epilepsy and other pediatric neurologic conditions.
Four years after creating the awards, Dr. Elterman says he’s proud to see how well the first two recipients are doing.
“Ragen, my wife, and I are both very pleased with the students’ successes and their enthusiasm so far,” Dr. Elterman said. “Also, they have both chosen fields that relate very well to my work as a pediatric neurologist, so I am excited about that.”
While Le wants to go into pediatrics, Schwartz hopes to focus on psychiatry. He is particularly interested in the philosophy of psychiatry, which deals with the conceptual foundations of mental disorders and the philosophical difficulties in diagnosing and treating them.
Schwartz, who just finished his third year, said the scholarship had a significant impact on his course of study.