Kaziah Robinson’s participation in the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program opens the gateway to her future as a pediatrician

The welfare of others has always been a concern for Alcorn State University junior Kaziah Robinson. Her love for helping people, especially children, fueled the biology/pre-medicine major with the drive to pursue a career in the medical profession.

"I've always had a passion for helping people, especially children because they are dear to my heart," said Robinson, a Bastrop, Louisiana native. "This passion inspired me to be a pediatrician."

In her undergraduate years at Alcorn, Robinson's talent in the classroom earned her a prestigious internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center's (UMMC) Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program this summer.

The Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program, which was created in 2007, identifies college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained rural primary care physicians in our state. Each year, 15-20 students are selected to receive academic enrichment during their final two undergraduate years plus mentoring by a rural physician, MCAT prep materials, medical encounters, rural clinical experience, and consideration for a $30,000 per year medical school scholarship. Upon completion of all medical school admissions requirements, the student has the opportunity to earn direct admission to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine or William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Being selected one of this year's scholars gave Robinson the opportunity to get a head start on exploring the field she dreams of practicing. She's grateful for the experience.

"Being accepted into the program felt like a load being taken off of my shoulders. I am grateful to have been selected to participate in the program."

The program also taught Robinson some essential developmental skills that will help her along her journey.

"I enjoyed meeting other scholars and learning how to do various suturing styles on a pig's foot. I also learned to be more proactive when it comes to networking. I feel I'm better at managing time so that in the future, I can complete all tasks."

Robinson applauded Alcorn's pre-professional program and her mentor, Dr. Justin Turner from the program, for providing the path and knowledge for her career development.

"The faculty strongly encourages students to seek opportunities such as these. They also network so that we can place ourselves in positions to be competitive with programs from around the state, country, and world. My mentor, Dr. Turner, has fueled this dream of being a physician. He has impacted me and allowed me to shadow him."