Central PA Medicine Fall 2017 - 10

Features

DCMS AWARDS SCOTT A.
GUNDER, MD, SCHOLARSHIP
TO DESERVING STUDENT

S

cott A. Gunder, MD, became the
137th President of the Dauphin
County Medical Society in January of
2000. He was a 39-year-old gastroenterologist in Harrisburg and a Clinical Assistant
Professor of Medicine at Penn State College of
Medicine in Hershey who succumbed to cancer
during his term as president. It was Dr. Gunder's
dream to establish a scholarship program for
deserving medical students at Penn State's
College of Medicine. The Dauphin County
Medical Society and many generous contributors helped fulfill his wish by establishing the
Scott A. Gunder, MD, DCMS Presidential
Scholarship Fund. The first scholarship was
presented in 2001 and to date has awarded
$23,500 to derserving Penn State College of
Medicine students.

We encourage all contributions to the Scott
A. Gunder, MD, DCMS Presidential Scholarship Fund. For more information on the
scholarship or to donate visit www.pamedsoc.
org/foundation/donatenow/done-now,aspx.
Below we present the essay from the 2017
recipient of the Gunder Scholarship, Kent
Upham. Congratualtions and best wishes in
your studies, Kent!

10 Fall 2017 Central PA Medicine

By KENT UPHAM

I grew up in a very small, rural town as a sixth-generation dairy farmer. Hard work
came as second nature to me; the idea of becoming a physician, on the other hand, was
not something that I had ever even considered. That is, before meeting my new neighbor,
Dr. Richard Manjerovic.
When I was about ten, Dr. Manjerovic moved into a house three miles down the road,
which was a "close" neighbor in my neck of the woods. He was the first doctor that I ever
interacted with outside of an office visit. He was a wacky and friendly guy with a huge movie
collection. That movie collection was a treasure trove for a ten year old, but borrowing
one came at a cost. I was given a list of vocabulary words ranging from "pecuniary" to "sesquipedalian" that I had to master in exchange for a movie. We developed a friendship and
talked on a weekly basis often of his days as a pediatrician, which intrigued and excited
me. One day he offhandedly mentioned that I could be a good doctor if I wanted to be. I
was shocked - the idea had never occurred to me. None of my extended family members
or classmates were doctors or aspired to be doctors. Until that moment, I had assumed I
didn't have what it took; in hindsight it seems like that's what we all thought. No one in
the graduating classes two years above nor below me went on to medical school.
I always knew I wanted to spend my life working to serve the needs of others, and with
the years of friendship and mentoring, I knew I could accomplish this life goal through
being a physician. I have been and plan to continue leading others into medicine the same
way that I was led into medicine - mentorship. I've been involved in mentoring programs
at both my undergraduate institution and here at PSUCOM; I have helped several students
traverse the labyrinth of medical school admission. In my future efforts to lead others
into medicine, however, I plan on reaching out to students in my local rural area by being
heavily involved in the community at large. These are the kids that need to hear that
they have what it takes from someone that knows what it takes. I plan on making myself
available for career days (when I was in school our career day did not include a doctor),
holding community parties at the family pond, volunteering my medical services at local
sporting events, enlisting youth in medical mission trips, and starting and advising a high
school medical interest group where students can interact with healthcare professionals.
My heritage is rich in community investment, and I plan on continuing that pattern by
being a vibrant presence. I believe that these efforts will lead others into medicine and
show them that even small-town, rural folk can make a big-town difference.


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