Medical student wins Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

November 29, 2012 | News, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences
By Casey Cheap

Marissa Watson, a first-year student in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, is getting some help from a nontraditional source for her education.


Watson recently received the Tylenol Future Care Scholarship, a $5,000 grant that is available to students pursuing careers in the medical field. According to Tylenol’s parent company, McNeil-PPC Inc., the scholarship is part of a $250,000 overall grant that was distributed among 40 students nationwide.

“The scholarship is aimed at anyone going into a health-related field,” Watson said. “I actually stumbled upon it when I did a Google search for scholarships.”

She said more than 25,000 applicants nationwide applied for the scholarship. In order to apply, students had to write an essay that described the experiences or persons contributing to their plans to pursue a medical career.

Watson knew she wanted to be a doctor at a young age because she saw the struggles and experiences her mother had with breast cancer. Watson knew immediately that she wanted to help others someday.

“I want to contribute and give back. I want to someday give patients the excellent medical treatment my mother’s physicians gave her.”

In addition to her mother, Watson said her own pediatrician had a significant affect on her life, providing a role model as she was growing up.

“She is still my mentor. She was my pediatrician, but she is still my friend. Even when I was little, she would still discuss with me the pros and cons of becoming a doctor.”

Watson said that despite the rigors and stress involved in becoming a doctor — and the hard work of medical school in general — it was reaffirming to see her pediatrician helping people on a daily basis.

“My short-term goals are to graduate from medical school with highest honors while becoming actively involved in extracurricular and service programs. I then hope to be accepted into a competitive reconstructive/plastic surgery residency and become a highly skilled surgeon. Long term, I have always dreamed of opening up my own practice.”

In the past, the Tylenol Future Care Scholarship has donated more than $8.7 million to more than 6,700 students pursuing their education.

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