Alumnus Robert Tatum awarded $30,000 Scholarship for medical school from the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program

One of Alcorn State University's former student body leaders was recently awarded a scholarship to attend medical school.

Former Student Government Association President Robert Tatum was awarded the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship of $30,000 per year for his medical training at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson, Mississippi.

The scholarship eliminates any financial strain that comes with pursuing higher learning. Tatum, who earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology in May 2019, is grateful for the scholarship because it positions him to only focus on his education.

"It's surreal because I always hear about the financial burdens that come from individuals attending medical school," said Tatum. "It still hasn't sunk in yet that I don't have to pay for school. This is a humbling opportunity."

During his junior year, Tatum entered the program that set his plans in motion. He reflected on his time as a program scholar and how his experience equipped him for his present and future.

"The program developed me academically by providing me with the resources necessary for success and a network that I could rely on to help me get to even more resources. The program showed me that I had to get hands-on experience by shadowing other doctors and experiencing real-life medical situations. I was provided with a valuable experience that taught me more than a book ever could."

Without the support of faithful Alcornites, Tatum may not have reached his milestone. He credits his professors and mentors at the university for their motivation and knowledge.

"Alcorn prepared me in so many ways. Alcorn's remarkable Honors and Pre-Professional Program helped me with completing my application and provided valuable support in my professional training. My instructors gave me the knowledge base to be a competitive applicant and the encouragement to go after the opportunity. I have always felt the backing of my alma mater in everything I did."

This step in his pursuit is one that Tatum has worked hard to reach. Despite the inevitable challenges that lie ahead, he looks forward to getting closer to his dream of becoming a physician.

"I've dreamed about this journey for years. The obstacles will be difficult, but the skills I have gained in my undergraduate years assure me of my preparedness. I find joy in providing care to people who cannot care for themselves."

Tatum strives to serve others. The path that he has chosen is perfect for him to fulfill his destiny while working in a field that he loves.

"My goal is to help those who aren't able to help themselves. In the future, I'll get the chance to save lives every day of my life. I've explored practicing pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine, and psychiatry. Each field has impacted me differently, and I can see myself pursuing either field to fulfill my duty to help others. Medical school is just another stop on my God-given destiny."