Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine was selected as one of nine medical schools to offer a new scholarship for veterans pursuing a career in medicine.
The Veterans Affairs Mission Act of 2018 created several programs to assist veterans in paying for medical school through scholarships and loan repayments, including the Veterans Healing Veterans Medical Access and Scholarship Program (VHVMASP).
Beginning with the incoming class of students in 2020, Marshall University was selected to award up to two scholarships per year to qualifying veterans. To qualify for VHVMASP, applicants must have completed their military service no more than 10 years from the time of application. They cannot receive the GI Bill or Vocational Rehabilitation funding while receiving the scholarship.
The scholarship is renewable for up to four years and covers tuition, fees, equipment and books; a stipend; and costs for two rotations at a Veterans Affairs (VA) facility during the senior year of medical school. In return, recipients must meet several obligations, including agreeing to complete residency training in a specialty that is applicable to the VA and become board-eligible in their specialty. They must also agree to become a full-time clinical provider at a VA facility for at least four years after their training.
"As a state medical school, we are always working to identify mechanisms for recruiting students from diverse backgrounds or with unique life experiences," said Bobby L. Miller, M.D., vice dean of medical education at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. "This scholarship provides us the opportunity to recognize individuals who have served our country while continuing to demonstrate our strong ties to the VA, upon which our medical school was founded."
Matthew W. Werhoff Jr., an entering first-year medical student, is the first recipient of the scholarship at Marshall University. Werhoff is a native of Martinsburg, West Virginia. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from West Virginia University in Morgantown. He joined the United States Army immediately following high school graduation in 2011 and served until 2019 as a member of the Military Police Corps.
The Marshall School of Medicine was established in 1977 through federal legislation, known as the Teague-Cranston Act, that authorized the creation of five new medical schools in conjunction with existing VA hospitals. Marshall maintains its partnership with the VA through pre-clinical and clinical learning opportunities for medical students.
Other schools of medicine participating in the WHVMASP include the Texas A&M College of Medicine, University of South Carolina College of Medicine, Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University, Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University, Howard University School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Drew University of Medicine and Science, Morehouse School of Medicine.
Photo: Matthew W. Werhoff Jr., an entering first-year medical student, is the first participant in the Veterans Healing Veterans Medical Access and Scholarship Program at Marshall University