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The Catalyst

Overheard at MUSC


College of Medicine student Alisha Joyner takes pride in achieving success behind the scenes instead of up front aALsiha Joynernd center.


In August, Joyner was named among 21 fourth-year medical students across the country to receive the 2013 American Medical Association Physicians of Tomorrow Medical Scholars Award. The award was established in 2004 to assist rising fourth-year medical students in relieving their medical school debt. According to the AMA Foundation, the average debt a U.S. medical student incurs upon graduation is $162,000. Joyner received a $10,000 tuition-assistance scholarship with this award.
Joyner and other recipients were nominated by their medical schools. According to Deborah Deas, M.D., senior associate dean for medical education, Joyner is a leader, mentor, volunteer, researcher and student teacher.
“Alisha is well respected by her peers and has been deemed to have compassionate, humanistic qualities as a new peer inductee to the Paul B. Underwood Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society at MUSC. She is motivated, competent, compassionate, hardworking and a natural team leader,” Deas said.
The Jackson, Miss., native was the first in her family to attend college and set her sights high in meeting her personal and career goals. Joyner graduated from Johns Hopkins University earning bachelor’s (neuroscience) and master’s (biotechnology) degrees.
While completing her master’s degree, Joyner worked as a donation coordinator for Life Point, an organ and tissue donation agency that supports transplantation and research in Charleston. She helped train new coordinators and coordinated the acceptance and placement of tissue for tissue processors.
At MUSC, Joyner has been  volunteering in multiple areas including the MUSC Sugar Free Fall Festival and the CARES (Community, Aid, Relief, Education and Support) Clinic, a student-run center that provides free care to uninsured and underserved Tri-county residents.

Teaching, leading by example

A natural teacher, Joyner was a teaching assistant in MUSC’s anatomy brain lab, suture instructor and president of the COM’s Surgical Training Awareness and Residency Group, and was a neurological exam presenter at the 2011 Student National Medical Association regional conference held in Charleston. She also was a COM team leader for second-year medical students to serve as mentors for first-year medical students.
In addition, Joyner was a National Institute’s of Health research grant recipient who studied the role of epidermal growth factor in the activation of sodium proton exchange in polycystic disease, and was a Department of Medicine’s Division of Nephrology mentor. She received the Arnold P. Gold Student Summer Fellowship grant and addressed teen pregnancy in an underserved community for her service project. She served as an MUSC Presidential Scholar and was a 2013 inductee to MUSC’s Student Leadership Society. She also is vice president of Women Interested in Surgical Experiences; vice president of the Student Interprofessional Society; and a National Executive Board member of the AMA’s Selection Minority Interest Committee.
Joyner is the third MUSC medical student to receive this award. She joins past recipients, Kenyatta Frasier and Valerian Bruce, both 2011 COM graduates.
Since 1950, the AMA Foundation has awarded more than $61 million in scholarships to medical students.
September 26, 2013

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