Fall 2014
Family supports student scholarships with endowment

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

medical student applies compression bandages

A helping hand

Medical student Kabir Suri, Zebrack scholarship recipient and Gold Humanism Professional Award recipient, applies compression bandages over an abscess caused by a resistant strain of staph aureus at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Photo by Edgar Antonio Núñez.

Professionalism in Medicine awardees honored

Story by Anne McMillin, APR

Five School of Medicine students were recognized at this year's Clinician's Ceremony on June 30 with scholarships, thanks to the generosity of the Jerry and Janet Zebrack Scholarship Endowment.

Recipient Mark Taylor said the scholarship will help him continue to embrace the learning opportunities, such as the Student Outreach Clinics, in which he has been involved at the school.

"On a deeper level, this scholarship means a lot to me because I was chosen to receive this award by my peers. The fact that my peers nominated me makes me want to work harder to continue to earn their respect as friends and colleagues," he said, adding a special thanks to the Zebrack family for their support and the scholarship.

Stephanie Martinez said she is humbled to be recognized for maintaining the values and high standards that the medical school seeks in all their students.

"This generous scholarship will help lessen the financial burden of buying books in order to further my knowledge while staying up-to-date on the most current medical literature," she added.

Diane Mar said it is a special honor to be recognized by people who have gone on this journey with her.

"It is both a reminder of the reasons I went into medicine and a motivator to continue to improve in order to be able to live up to the ideals that this scholarship represents," she said.

The Zebrack family has a strong commitment to medicine-not only to the care of patients, but to the teaching and nurturing of the future generations of physicians - and wanted to recognize the professionalism in medicine award recipients. These awards will be supported from a perpetual scholarship fund that was endowed for this purpose.

Jerry Zebrack, M.D., graduated from UCLA Medical School in 1965, where he also did his cardiology fellowship.

Upon acceptance into medical school, he gave notice at Thrifty Drug Store where he had worked for the previous nine years. When his resignation was received, the president of the company asked Zebrack to come to his office. Zebrack was hesitant, but when he arrived in the office, the president handed him a check for $10,000 as a thanks for his loyalty and years of service.

"That money paid for my first two years of medical school," Zebrack said. He added that the president of the company asked that he consider paying the scholarship forward; the Jerry and Janet Zebrack Scholarship Endowment is a result of his keeping that promise.

"I would encourage recipients of this scholarship to do the same when they are older and able to do so," Zebrack said.

Following his education and training years, Jerry and his wife, Janet Cady Zebrack, moved to Reno to establish his cardiology practice and raise their two sons, James and John.

He joined the School of Medicine, teaching cardiac physiology and continued on as a clinical instructor until 2005, mentoring more than 200 medical students in his practice.

Janet worked as an elementary school teacher and is now writing non-fiction photo books for children based on her 25 years in the classroom and as a mentor for student teachers.

James Zebrack, M.D. '95, is practicing cardiology in Salt Lake City and is on the faculty of the University of Utah Medical School. He is supervising an active medical research program along with mentoring medical students and residents. James married Michelle McCormack, M.D. '96, who is an associate professor at Stanford Medical School and the University of Utah with a specialty in pediatric intensive care.

John Zebrack, M.D. '01, practices orthopedics in Reno, and is actively mentoring medical students. His wife, Jennifer, graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine, did her internal medicine residency with the School of Medicine and served as faculty in its internal medicine department for 10 years.

Gold Humanism Honor Society

These scholarship recipients, all from the Class of 2016, were also the recipients of the Gold Humanism Honor Society professionalism in medicine awards. The award has five categories that are given to medical students who demonstrate these qualities and are selected by classmates.

Altruism: Kabir Suri

  • Unselfish concern for the welfare of others
  • Demonstrates concern, kindness and interest for others, even at the expense of his own needs; prioritizes others ahead of himself

Duty: Mark Taylor, John Kim

  • Often identified as leaders in their class
  • Sees a need, then takes care of it; is reliable and capable
  • Has a strong sense of values and beliefs which guides their efforts

Humility: Diane Mar

  • Not self-promoting, but motivated by values
  • Does not seek attention or acknowledgment from others when doing something remarkable
  • Has a gentle nature, being helpful but not forceful, capable and never condescending

Integrity: Stephanie Martinez

  • Is trustworthy in matters of confidentiality; has earned the trust of others
  • Has a strong sense of what is right in the way she treats her colleagues, faculty and staff
  • Demonstrates strong personal ethics and a steadfast adherence to a strict moral code

Respect: Alexander Chang

  • Is often sought out for his insight, knowledge and opinion
  • Approaches patients, colleagues and others with a "do unto others" philosophy
  • Is considerate of others