The American Osteopathic Foundation is proud to present the 2019 William G. Anderson, DO, Minority Scholarship, to two outstanding osteopathic medical students: Crystal Goree, OMS III, and Dianet Falcon, OMS III. The AndersonMinority Scholarship was established to recognize medical students who are proven leaders in addressing minorities' educational, societal, and health needs.
Dianet Falcon, OMS III
Born in Cuba, Student Doctor Dianet Falcon knew she wanted to be a physician by age 6 and recalls the day she was accepted into osteopathic medical school as “one of the most joyous days of my life.” Now a third-year student at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Auburn Campus, she has dedicated herself to helping her fellow medical students and giving back to others, both in her community and internationally.
As President of Hispanic Community Medical Outreach, Student Doctor Falcon works with school administrators to be a voice for minority medical students and provide educational opportunities for her peers to learn Spanish prior to going on mission trips to Honduras, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic. “Being on mission in the Dominican Republic and seeing the abundance of poverty and disease makes me feel so thankful to be a part of a school that cares enough to establish long standing clinics and provide resources in those areas that need it the most,” she says.
Student Doctor Falcon believes that being involved in her local community helps her stay grounded and reminds her of the importance of humanism, empathy, and connecting with patients as equals. Her outreach experience includes volunteering at the local health clinic, helping with medical mission work through her church, tutoring English as a second language to foreign language students, and translating for Hispanic patients and parents. She also serves as a simulation center intern, where she mentors first-year students and helps them prepare for patient encounters.
Of her commitment to service, Student Doctor Falcon says that “Everything that I do is from the bottom of my heart, and always with the ultimate end goal to get back to my roots and give back to the people who helped me make it where I am today. Applying for this scholarship has allowed me to reflect on all that I have accomplished thus far, and given me the momentum to keep pushing forward to achieve my goals as an osteopathic physician dedicated to the needs of minority populations.”
Crystal Goree, OMS III
Crystal Goree is a third-year student at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OSU-COM). She is a passionate advocate for increasing access to health care in medically underserved regions across the country, particularly in Oklahoma, where more than 80% of the state’s counties are health professional shortage areas. She is helping to bridge these gaps in health disparities by speaking with state government representatives through AOA’s DO Day on Capitol Hill and other physician advocacy events, and by volunteering in her local community’s rural health fairs, food donation programs, and outreach through her church.
Student Doctor Goree has published research on a project evaluating research gaps and excesses in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. She has also worked with the Center for Health Systems Innovation on a rural health survey design project, conducted data analysis at OSU’s Center for Health Sciences, and given poster presentations at OSU-COM’s research day.
As a student leader, she has served terms as a national liaison to the Student American Academy of Osteopathy, an alternate delegate in the American Medical Association’s student section, chair of the Student National Medical Association’s MAPS Conference, and vice president of the school’s Business and Leadership in Medical Practice Club.
Through research, advocacy and leadership, Student Doctor Goree is hoping to make a difference and improve health care by reducing costs, increasing access, and eliminating biases of health professionals to minorities. “Improving just one of these areas can mean lengthening the life expectancy of an entire population, which is why I am committed to working diligently to see transformation within the healthcare field,” she says. “I am excited to serve and encouraged that real change, practical change, is possible and is indeed on the horizon.”
Of her future, Student Doctor Goree says “My goals over the next ten years include completing a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, researching ways to advance quality care for patients, and serving as a physician in medically underserved communities. I hope to be a part of improving access to the healthcare of minorities.”