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Front row, from left, Lisa Hoffman, Jennifer Hoffman, Holly Hoffman Bryant, and William Hoffman III. Back row, from left, Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., second-year medical students Carla Sandler, Victoria Wurster, Nickole Hames and Jonathan Steer, and Joseph Gigante, M.D. (photo by Terry Johnson)

Programs let ‘best, brightest’ shine

BY: JESSICA ENNIS

2/19/2010 - Two summer programs have for years been attracting the best and brightest medical students interested in pediatrics from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical School.

These two programs, the Amos Christie Summer Scholars Program and the Darlene Batey Hoffman Summer Scholars Program, will be accepting a total of 20 new students this summer.

Four first-year medical students who show great interest and promise in the area of pediatric research will be selected into the Darlene Batey Hoffman Summer Scholars Program.

This exclusive program honors the life of the late Darlene Hoffman, who was a longtime loyal supporter of what is now the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

She served as director of Development at Children's Hospital in the early 1980s, where she organized the first Iroquois Steeplechase that benefited Children's Hospital, and directed the first Children's Miracle Network Telethon in Nashville. She was a member of the Friends of Children's Hospital and served on the Children's Hospital board.

After her death in 1995, memorial gifts from family and friends created the Darlene Batey Hoffman Summer Scholars Program at the suggestion of Ian Burr, M.D., who was chair of the Department of Pediatrics at that time.

Students will receive a stipend to work in the laboratory of a researcher investigating a pediatric disease and participate in a clinical experience matching their laboratory project.

“Through the extraordinary generosity of the Hoffman family we now can provide unique experiences for our best and brightest students that will have a profound impact on their academic future,” said Jonathan D. Gitlin, M.D., James C. Overall Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

At the end of the summer, the students will present their work to the Hoffman family.

“We were so impressed with those students doing the sort of research you would expect of post graduates,” said Bill Hoffman, Darlene's widower.
“This has been a way of carrying on her love of taking care of sick children.”

Sixteen students in their first year of medical school can apply to Amos Christie Pediatric Summer Scholars Program to receive a stipend to gain clinical experience in four areas of pediatrics, spending two weeks in each area.

They will be supervised by members of the Department of Pediatrics and will participate in rounds, conferences and lectures.

The Amos Christie Pediatric Summer Scholars Program honors the late Amos Christie, M.D., a former professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics. William B. Wadlington, M.D., the late William Donald, M.D., and other contributors provided the funding for this program, which is entering its 30th year.

At 4 p.m. on Feb. 22, potential applicants of the summer programs can attend an informational reception in Wadlington Conference Room at Children's Hospital sponsored by the Department of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Medical Student Interest Group and attended by some of last years' Hoffman and Christie Scholars.

Applications for the Summer Scholars Program are due April 2.

Those interested in learning more may visit http://pediatrics.mc.vanderbilt.edu/interior.php?mid=5087 or may e-mail joseph.gigante@vander-bilt.edu or trish.nielsen@van-derbilt.edu.

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