by Erin Arcand, contributing writer

The Gilchrist Scholarship Committee has named two scholars, Neha Lamsal and Courtney Olson, for 2023. In recognition of their extraordinary achievements, both scholars received monetary awards to aid them in their medical education. Each of this year’s recipients showed exceptional dedication to leadership and advocacy in organized medicine.

Neha Lamsal is a third-year medical student at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She was the Community Outreach chair for the RVU CMS chapter, and in this position was able to bolster their partnership with the Well Clinic – a free clinic working with diabetic foot care and other patient needs. Through this partnership, medical students volunteered under the supervision of physicians, providing direct care and diabetes education to patients. These students were able to help improve access to care for this population, as well as provide information that would help patients advocate for themselves in the future.

Neha wrote in her application, “I consider the partnership between RVU CMS and the Well Clinic to be my most meaningful accomplishment in my tenure as Community Outreach chair. This experience brought me into contact with physicians who were passionate about promoting health care for vulnerable populations and were looking for partners in that effort. I see CMS as a partner in realizing these visions are shared by many physicians.”

Courtney Olson is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She has held leadership positions with both the CMS Medical Student Component (representing both UCSOM and RVU) and with the American Medical Association. In these positions, she learned how to mobilize and organize with her medical school peers to ensure their voices are heard at the legislative level. Courtney has co-authored a resolution to integrate Holocaust Remembrance Day into medical education, as well as provided testimony at legislative sessions. As a physician, Courtney would like to use her voice to advocate for marginalized communities in medical education and in medicine and intends to stay involved with organized medicine in order to make her voice heard.

“Throughout my career, I want to practice being a physician-citizen through leadership in state and national societies. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have had in organized medicine thus far and am committed to continue advocating for equitable and accessible healthcare.”

The Alfred D. Gilchrist Student Leader Scholarship Foundation was established in 2020 to honor former CMS CEO Alfred Gilchrist’s 40-year career of physician advocacy. It is open to third- and fourth-year medical students who have demonstrated a significant leadership contribution to organized medicine. Preference is given to students who are active with CMS or a CMS component medical society. Contribute to the Alfred D. Gilchrist Student Leader Scholarship at cms.org/contribute.


Categories: Communications, Colorado Medicine