2021 Texas Medical Association Medical Student Section (TMA-MSS) Student of the Year Award
Whitney Stuard, a sixth-year MD/PhD student in the Medical Scientist Training Program at UT Southwestern Medical School (UT Southwestern), received the 2021 Texas Medical Association Medical Student Section (TMA-MSS) Student of the Year Award. TMA’s House of Delegates policymaking body announced Ms. Stuard’s award today during TexMed, TMA’s annual conference, held virtually.
“The members of TMA have been upholding a commitment to health care, leadership, professionalism, and service for many years,” said Ms. Stuard, of Dallas. “I am truly honored to be placed in the ranks of those past honorees from the Medical Student Section.”
Tanooha Veeramachaneni, a fellow UT Southwestern student who nominated Ms. Stuard, said, “The passion and sincerity she brings to every project inspires others, like myself, to dream bigger and aim higher.”
Medical student Sarah Miller, president of the TMA-MSS, called Ms. Stuard “a standout among the TMA student community.”
Ms. Stuard joined TMA in 2015. She also is a member of TEXPAC, TMA’s political action committee, and serves on its Candidate Evaluation Committee, and has served on the TEXPAC Board of Directors. Ms. Stuard also is a delegate representing her region in the American Medical Association (AMA) Medical Student Section.
She is co-president of the TMA medical student chapter at UT Southwestern, as well as medical student outreach leader. Ms. Stuard serves as a peer counselor and teaches her fellow students how to draft resolutions to propose policy changes at TMA and AMA.
Tina Zhu, one of the UT Southwestern students Ms. Stuard mentors, said, “She is highly committed to making a difference in medicine through both advocacy and policy, and will no doubt be a leader in the future.”
Ms. Stuard is active in the Dallas County Medical Society, serving as a member of its board of directors. She also helped expand opportunities for other medical students to serve on the society’s boards, councils, and committees.
“I am overjoyed my work in policy, education, and advocacy has made a positive difference for others,” Ms Stuard said. “I hope through my work to inspire other students, so they too can make a difference.”
While at UT Southwestern, Ms. Stuard also has developed programs to aid the local community. She created a hepatitis B screening program for people in underserved areas of Dallas. In addition, she secured a grant to develop a web-based STEM course to empower local high school students to pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Ms. Stuard graduated summa cum laude from The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. She is enrolled in the UT-PACT Program, which is a combined seven-year UTD/UTSW medical program. Ms. Stuard is a member of the UT Southwestern class of 2023.
Since 1998, TMA-MSS has recognized an outstanding student member who excels in furthering the section’s goals and policies to improve Texas’ health care system. The chapter aims to engage students in organized medicine by encouraging their involvement in local county medical societies, TMA, and AMA.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 55,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.