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Temple Medical Student Named Pisacano Scholar
August 6, 2014
Seneca Harberger, a medical student at Temple University School of Medicine, has been named a 2014 Pisacano Scholar by the Board of Directors of the Pisacano Leadership Foundation, Inc., of the American Board of Family Medicine.
Harberger is one of seven medical students across the nation to be selected for the honor, which goes to fourth-year students identified as future leaders in the field of Family Medicine. In addition to demonstrating commitment to Family Medicine, recipients exhibit integrity, strong leadership and communications skills, superior academic achievement, and noteworthy track records of community service. The honor includes leadership training and a scholarship of up to $28,000.
After graduating with honors from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, where he majored in physics, Harberger pursued a career in education. He was named an Oakland Teaching Fellow, a fellowship connected with the Oakland (California) Unified School District that is designed to train new teachers in math, science and special education classrooms in struggling schools. Through this program, Harberger secured a teaching position with EXCEL High School in West Oakland, earning a Master’s degree in Education while he taught. “It was this experience that helped galvanize my interest in medicine and underserved populations,” he says.
At Temple, concurrent with the Doctorate in Medicine degree, Harberger is pursuing a Master’s degree in Urban Bioethics, with a thesis focused on the health needs of the homeless population of North Philadelphia.
Harberger’s involvement in the service-oriented activities of the School has been considerable. He served as a research coordinator for a study of MRSA skin infections, working with patients seeking care in Temple University Hospital’s Emergency Department. He developed a seminar course in Palliative Care. He also served as coordinator of the Temple Emergency Action Corps’ Homelessness Initiative (TEACH), helping to organize health literacy sessions, screening clinics in local shelters, and a course in homeless health for medical students. Harberger also led the School’s Family Medicine student interest group, seeking to assert the values of strong family physicians.
The Pisacano Scholarship is named in honor of the founder and first Executive Director of the American Board of Family Medicine, Nicholas J. Pisacano, MD (1924-1990), who is internationally acknowledged for his leadership in securing Family Medicine’s recognition as a major specialty. Since 1993, approximately 2300 applicants representing more than 140 medical schools have competed for the scholarship, and 123 scholars have been selected.
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