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Maxwell Tuan Nguyen Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Aug 1, 2024
Winners Announced
Sep 1, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior or undergraduate

The medical profession is extremely important to society, providing safety and healing for those in need.

Those going into the medical field often have a caring spirit and want to spend their lives helping others. Like many other medical scholarships offered through, the Maxwell Tuan Nguyen Memorial Scholarship will support students passionate about pursuing a career in medicine. This scholarship is in memory of Maxwell Tuan Nguyen and seeks to give opportunities to students wanting to make a difference in their field.

High school seniors and undergraduate students are eligible to apply if they are pursuing a career in the medical field. To apply, write about what inspired you to pursue this career path and how you plan to make a difference.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Passion, Boldest Profile
Published September 1, 2023
Essay Topic

What inspired you to pursue a career in the medical field, and how do you plan on making a difference through your career?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Jillyn Turunen
University of ChicagoChicago, IL
In March, I graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor's degree in neuroscience. In June, I will enter the MSTP (combined MD-PhD program) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. My clinical focus will be neurosurgery, with the goal of entering neurosurgery residency. My PhD will focus either on novel treatments for glioblastoma (GBM), or on creating an in vivo model of leptomeningeal disease (LMD). With each step I take toward my eventual career as a neurosurgeon-scientist specializing in GBM and/or LMD, I aspire to make an impact on the lives of GBM/LMD patients and their families. Shadowing in a GBM clinic cemented my desire to practice medicine. As a physician, I want to provide healing in multiple forms, and to be trusted as both a leader and a friend along patients’ health journeys. Despite the challenges of the position, I am incredibly motivated because I have seen the immense rewards that come from making tangible differences in the lives of patients in difficult health situations. Since GBM and LMD have such a poor prognosis, however, I acknowledge that my role as a neurosurgeon will mainly create short-term impacts on the lives of patients and their families. If I want to make a long-term impact on the field, I must also devote my career to research. I aim to oversee an independent, NIH-funded lab which focuses on basic science research for GBM and/or LMD - their development and/or recurrence, their subtypes and heterogeneity, or their response to treatment. Based on this basic science work, I plan to translate our findings into treatments and oversee clinical trials for GBM and/or LMD patients. Therefore, the impact I strive to make on the field of neuro-oncology is two-fold: to care for patients personally as a neurosurgeon and to advance treatment options as a scientist. I acknowledge, however, that there will be challenges beyond those which normally come with a career in medicine and research. Less than 10% of practicing US neurosurgeons are women, and although this number is expected to increase in the near future, there will still be a large gender gap when I enter the field. The gender gap has many causes: the many years of training and long hours at every stage of training, which makes having children difficult; the mentality of some male neurosurgeons toward their female counterparts, which can create an unwelcoming environment; and so on. My goal as a female neurosurgeon will extend beyond medicine and science: I want to advocate for myself and other women so that more women are encouraged to enter the field, and we can one day close the gender gap in neurosurgery.
Christopher Guthery
Jacksonville State UniversityAltoona, AL
I believe being able to pursue a career in nursing would be one of the greatest privileges of my life. Serving others with compassion is imperative, and I feel that pursuing a career as a nurse will provide me with that amazing opportunity. I have several reasons that have inspired me to choose the nursing profession. First, I have continued admiration for my parents who chose to work in the medical field, and they have taught me the importance of caring for patients during some of the most difficult and frightening moments of their lives. Secondly, I have witnessed several family members endure very stressful health issues. My paternal grandmother has battled breast cancer and being there during her care revealed the importance of having sympathetic nurses. She continues to encourage me as I pursue a nursing career and always reminds me how important it is to treat others with kindness and respect. Also, I currently have an uncle with dementia under Hospice care that I help care for as often as I can. He requires constant care and supervision. My maternal grandmother, who was diagnosed with heart failure three years ago has given me the greatest inspiration to pursue nursing. I believe caring for her helped confirm the calling I have to become a nurse. She lived next door to me, and I was involved with her care more than I ever had been with anyone else in my life. She suffered a stroke and kidney failure in addition to her heart failure. She needed varying amounts of care as her disease progressed, and I assisted her throughout each stage. I aided by doing the following: accompanying her to doctors’ appointments and hospital visits, transporting her in and out of her wheelchair, assisting with oxygen, bathing, changing diapers, dressing, and preparing meals. My maternal grandmother endured many hospital stays and procedures in local hospitals and even hospitals out of state before she passed away in January of this year. When my maternal grandmother passed, she was on Hospice care and her nurse was one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. Her nurse was not only there for her, but the morning she passed her nurse comforted my whole family. She helped us walk through the whole process of losing someone like she was a member of our family. I saw through this just how important experiencing kindness during these emotional times can be. I have witnessed the compassion the nurses have shown my family members, and I want the opportunity to be a positive light and comfort for others. I believe I can make a difference in the life of each patient I encounter by providing them with the compassionate care that every person deserves when dealing with an injury or any medical condition.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Aug 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Sep 1, 2024.