University of South Florida

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Medical student earns national award, committee membership

nora newcomb

Nora Newcomb, third-year medical student at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. 

Nora Newcomb, third-year medical student at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, recently earned two prestigious distinctions this Spring.

Medical Students with Disability and Chronic Illness (MSDCI), an organization in which Newcomb serves as executive director, earned a 2024 Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). 

MSDCI is a student-led organization that works to support and serve medical students with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses, and to create a more accessible health care system for all that interact with it.

Her scholarly work focuses on the inclusion of medical students with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses and the development of disability-focused curricular interventions in medical education. 

Newcomb is a former American Medical Women’s Association Anne C. Carter Global Health Fellow.  She is a member of the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine and serves on the Task Force on Physical Activity for Persons with Disabilities, and ISPRM-World Health Organization Liaison Committee.

MSDCI will receive a $10,000 award, $7,500 of which will be used to further develop MSDCI initiatives, including launching a mentorship program and the improved accessibility and functionality of the MSDCI website  The remaining $2,500 will be distributed at the discretion of the awardees.

Newcomb will accept the award alongside fellow MSDCI leadership at the AAPD’s national community event April 23.

Newcomb was also appointed to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) as the American Medical Association’s (AMA) medical student member.  Her one-year term with the LCME will begin July 1.

“Receiving the Hearne award is beyond exciting,” Newcomb said. “It's a wonderful recognition of the work that MSDCI has done and our potential for growth.  I cannot wait to see how much we develop as leaders and as an organization during this upcoming year as Hearne awardees. Furthermore, being appointed to the LCME as the AMA student member is such an incredible honor. I have a strong interest in organized medicine and educational systems. Having the opportunity to experience firsthand about how the LCME works and participate in the work they do is a singular experience that I feel very lucky to have been granted.”

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USF Health News highlights the great work of the faculty, staff and students across the four health colleges – Morsani College of Medicine, College of Public Health, College of Nursing and Taneja College of Pharmacy – and the multispecialty physicians group. USF Health, an integral part of the University of South Florida, integrates research, education and health care to reach our shared value - making life better.