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Robert Levy, a rising senior medical student at the University of South Alabama, has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Alliance of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama (AMASA) Medical Student Scholarship.
Awarded by the Medical Foundation of Alabama, the scholarship recipient is selected based on volunteer experience and philanthropic contributions.
Levy, of Birmingham, Ala., earned his undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He then completed a year of ophthalmology research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The AMASA Scholarship was first established in 2012, and funded through fundraising efforts by AMASA, corporate donors and individual donors. The Medical Foundation of Alabama says that the 2013 scholarship is the first of many to be awarded over the years.
In addition to his research experience, Levy was recognized for extensive volunteerism. He has traveled to Haiti on volunteer medical trips twice, which he says gave him insight into working with available resources, even when conditions were not ideal.
According to Levy, the high levels of dust and sun exposure in Haiti could be linked to the prevalence of cataracts and pterygiums among Haitians. In addition to taking blood pressure, treating infections and referring patients to surgeons in the area, Levy noticed that most of the people didn’t own any sunglasses. He is currently working on securing affordable, polarized sunglasses to deliver to Haiti.
He attributes these volunteer experiences in Haiti for his renewed appreciation for preventative medicine.
Levy, also an Eagle Scout, encourages other students to research and volunteer if they have the opportunity. He says that he would consider his volunteer experiences just as much fun as vacationing, plus the rewarding benefits of giving back.
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