Medicine has always been Sean Figy’s passion, even at an early age.The University of Toledo fourth-year medical student found medicine as an outlet, he said, to use his nerdy science brain to help people either get better or at least understand the reasoning behind their diagnoses.
His commitment to studying medicine recently was recognized when the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation presented him with the 2011 Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship.
Figy, originally from Westfield, Mass., was one of 18 students in the nation chosen for the $10,000 scholarship award based on scholastic achievement, financial need and community involvement.
“There are so many great students who were nominated from around the country, many of whom I know and consider to be friends. I am humbled to have been chosen for such a prestigious award,” he said.
Figy is planning to specialize in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Unlike the popular TV shows that demonstrate the fictional image that plastic surgeons perform only tummy tucks and nose jobs, he became interested in the specialty to help people through reconstruction.
“I really enjoy the reconstructive aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery,” he said. “We help people who have had some injury or illness that has left them with a physical or functional defect and help to fix that defect. For example, if a person loses part of his jaw, one of the things we can do is use part of his or her fibula to reconstruct a new jaw.”
Dr. Patricia Metting, vice chancellor for student affairs and associate dean for the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, nominated Figy for the award in recognition of his scholastic achievements, and his involvement with the community and the American Medical Association.
“There are approximately 17,000 fourth-year medical students in the country, and each of the 130 U.S. medical schools can nominate one student, so Sean’s selection as one of only 18 AMA Foundation Physicians of Tomorrow Scholars is a tremendous honor for the UT community, as well as Sean,” Metting said. “During my 15 years in this position, none of our previous nominees has won this scholarship. We are all very proud.”
Figy devotes many hours of service to the community and the American Medical Association. He is involved with the Community Care Clinic, a free clinic run by UT College of Medicine students. Recently, he was elected the alternate delegate for the Medical Student Section of the AMA, representing the association’s approximately 47,000 medical student members.