Alicia Adams: The First Schuler Scholar to Enroll in Medical School


This fall Alicia Adams began her medical studies at Rush University in Chicago and was awarded the National Health Service Corps Scholarship.  This prestigious scholarship was awarded this year to 250 students with a demonstrated commitment to providing high quality primary care in underserved communities.

When Alicia first started at Brown University, she had no intentions of pursuing a career in medicine. For years, she saw family members and friends dread their medical visits because they were uninsured or publicly insured and were treated poorly by their doctors. She had no desire to join a profession in which her community was so disappointed. Her first class in college, however, was about culture and health and through this course, she began to see how radically important the experience of illness and the medical encounter could be.

In order to gain more exposure to the health care system, Alicia volunteered with a nonprofit organization in the children’s hospital where she worked in order to connect low-income families with the social resources necessary to maintain good health. Based upon problems identified during a medical visit and the availability of volunteers, physicians would “prescribe” things like food and safe housing. For the first time, Alicia felt that medicine could be a way to fight for social equality and improve people’s lives.  She saw that medical professionals did not just cure illness; they provided social, psychological and spiritual support to patients. It was then that she decided to pursue a degree in medicine.

Upon graduation from medical school Alicia plans to practice family medicine and work at a free community clinic where she hopes to integrate the provision of social support services into her practice. 



Alicia Adams, WHS Class of 2007, Brown University, Class of 2011

Alicia Adams, WHS Class of 2007, Brown University, Class of 2011

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