Alia Sommerville, a fourth-year medical student at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM), has been awarded a scholarship from National Medical Fellowships, Inc. (NMF), a non-profit organization that advocates for increasing the number of underrepresented minority physicians in the United States. The $5,000 award was made possible by The Lincoln Fund, a long-time supporter of the NMF and its mission.

The scholarship is making it possible for Ms. Sommerville, who hails from Gaithersburg, Md., to further pursue her passion of practicing medicine in the area of women’s health in underserved communities. She left for Ghana this week to spend seven weeks working in two OB/GYN clinics, helping to deliver babies and care for patients.

“I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity to go to Ghana. I love to learn about different cultures and ever since I was little I’ve wanted to visit Ghana,” Ms. Sommerville said on the eve of her departure. “I am not sure exactly what to expect, but I have heard wonderful things. I believe this will be a memorable experience that will prepare me for the management of my future patients locally and abroad.”

“Ms. Sommerville is a dedicated and hardworking medical student who embodies our mission. It is no wonder that she received this prestigious award,” said Dean Robert Goldberg, DO. “I know she will make us proud as she represents our school and Harlem when she cares for those in need in Ghana.”

Ms. Sommerville is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where she earned a B.S. in medical technology. After completing the Masters of Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences at Touro in 2010, she entered TouroCOM, where she has been active in a variety of extracurricular activities and serves in leadership positions to advance community health and minorities in health care.

After graduation from TouroCOM, Ms. Sommerville will be working as a resident in OB/GYN at York Hospital in York, Pa., which she hopes will eventually be followed by a fellowship in maternal fetal medicine