School of Medicine alumni make giving back to students a family affair
As a medical student at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, Pamela (Blum) Camosy, M.D., class of 1980, had a prodigious enthusiasm and desire to help and heal.
“The university gave me the opportunity to work in clinical settings with patients. That experience really inspired me and helped me grow in my profession,” she said.
Today, Dr. Camosy works as a private practice family physician and also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Health Science Center. She also serves as a member of the School of Medicine Alumni Association Board of Directors and mentors students who volunteer at the SAMMinistries free medical clinic.
Dr. Camosy said she is proud her daughter, Caroline, has also chosen to pursue a career in the medical field. Caroline is a third-year medical student at the Health Science Center. “I feel it’s important to help students by giving back to the university that gave me so much and is now preparing my own daughter for her career path as a physician.”
Likewise, Patrick Nguyen, M.D., FACS, class of 2004, cites mentorship from faculty, residents and senior students as instrumental to his formation as a student and career path as a surgeon. He practices as an assistant clinical professor of general surgery and teaches students and residents at the Health Science Center. Grateful for the education and guidance he received as a student at the university, Dr. Nguyen also volunteers his time mentoring students.
Launched in 2009 by the Alumni Association, the SEEF supports student-related educational causes, including tutoring services, summer research projects, community-service-learning initiatives, medical mission trips, new equipment for the H-E-B Clinical Skills Center and enhancements to the School of Medicine Alumni Association Student Lounge.
“I certainly do not want lack of money to prevent a medical student from taking part in worthwhile projects,” Dr. Camosy said. “From time to time I have the chance to talk to medical students who have received SEEF monies. They describe to me life-changing experiences that have given them a better understanding of the human condition and of their own emerging role as a healer.”
Dr. Nguyen agrees. “When I was a student, I took advantage of the student lounge because it was a place to study and build camaraderie, although at the time it was outdated and it was next to the dean’s office, albeit not a prime location for a medical student to relax!” Dr. Nguyen said jokingly, with a smile. “It is great that the Alumni Association helped with the recent relocation and renovations of the new student lounge. I feel like giving back is a small way I can help to enhance the educational experience for students.”
Giving to the SEEF helps foster the important tradition within the School of Medicine of seasoned alumni who are willing and eager to assist the younger generation.
“One could look at it as a family mentality,” Dr. Camosy said. “Family members turn to each other when they have a need, or a story to share or an event to celebrate. I enjoy being part of the lives of the younger generation of healers. It gives me a sort of youthful energy by osmosis. I wish more alumni could experience this.”