Grateful Tiger Conversation: Maxwell Barffour

Maxwell Barffour
Maxwell Barffour

Medical Dean’s Award 
Maxwell Barffour
Second-year student 
Nixa, Missouri 

Q: How has this scholarship assisted in your education?  

A: The decision to go to medical school is a difficult one, especially when you are entering as a non-traditional student. For me, going to medical school meant sacrificing precious family time and a full-time job. In addition, I would take on extra debt. To mitigate these, I had decided that I would accept a medical school offer only if I could also work a part-time job. Thanks to this scholarship, I did not have to take on that extra distraction, and I am therefore able to stay committed to the medical education process. Most important, I am able to spend my off days with my family, instead of working, and that means the world to me.  

Q: What are your career goals and future plans?

A: I have a strong research expertise, and I hope that with the added benefits of a medical education, I can participate in much needed evidence-based translational medicine in underserved populations. My long-term goal is to be able to support patient care and public health through direct practice and research. Although I am undecided on a specialty at this point, I hope to be affiliated with a teaching hospital, supporting both patient care and the training of the next generation of physicians.  

Q: What are your extracurricular activities and hobbies?

A: My family and faith are important to me. I like to spend time with my family and with my network of family friends. My wife and I enjoy watching movies together. I like to participate in church activities, including Bible sharing and community prayer meetings. I play my guitar as often as I can and love to watch my boys play the piano. I also love to take my boys for soccer and basketball lessons. Whenever I’m able, I provide tennis lessons for my kids and their friends. 

Q: What else can you tell us about yourself? 

A: I am a global health scientist by training, and in the past I’ve been involved in several clinical trials exploring the benefits versus risks of micronutrient supplements on infections, physical growth and hematological outcomes in children. Medical school has greatly reinforced my research interests, and I hope to pursue a specialty that supports my interest in research.  

Q: What message would you like to send your scholarship sponsor? 

A: Thank you! I am able to pursue my dream and passion because of your generosity. I am motivated to work harder, not only because I know my sponsors believe in me, but also because I know I have a responsibility to help others when I graduate.