Grateful Tiger Conversation with MU Medical School Scholarship Recipient Allison Huangs
Allison Huangs is an alumna of the University of Missouri School of Medicine.
Career Goals: My goals are to be a surgeon who cares about her patients and strives to better their lives through healing. I want to work in an inner city helping people who may not otherwise get the best healthcare. I would also like to donate some of my time to volunteering in a free clinic.
Hobbies/Extracurricular Activities: I enjoy puzzles, board games, cross stitch and volunteering at Medzou. I also was a coordinator of the Gift of Body Ceremony.
Why did you choose Mizzou: Firstly, I wanted to be at a medical school that would prepare me for a life in the medical profession and teach me to care for patients. I chose Mizzou for this reason and because it is less costly than most other institutions. Also, having attended Mizzou as an undergraduate, I was already familiar with Columbia.
Describe a memorable moment for you in medical school: I was working with a PM&R doctor and he gave me a lot a freedom to talk with the patients. A patient spoke openly with me about how his spinal injury had affected his daily life. He wasn’t just answering my questions, he was having a conversation with me.
How has this scholarship assisted you in your education: For me, receiving a scholarship means that I have the ability to choose my specialty and population that I serve based on what I am passionate about and not based on income. Growing up in the inner city of Saint Louis, every month was a struggle to keep our house, pay the mortgage and utilities, and buy groceries and medicine. Starting at a young age, I often gave what money I had; this continued during high school when I began working in order to help my family financially and continues even now as a medical student.
After I left for college, my family was forced to declare bankruptcy and my father lost his job once he became permanently disabled. In college, I took out loans and worked during the school year and the summers to pay for my education and living necessities. With my father being disabled and having never graduated from high school, my mother alone must provide for my family. Though I would like to help my family more, I continue with my education, determined to become the first person in my family to not only graduate college but also medical school. It is this background and desire to achieve better that compels me to strive to study medicine and the lives of the disadvantaged in the hopes that I will one day be able to serve underprivileged communities. Thus, receiving a scholarship would mean I could focus more on how best to treat patients from disadvantaged communities and less on how to make sure I can pay off my loans.