UQ-Ochsner student awarded diversity scholarship

5 May 2022

A scholarship established to promote diversity at Ochsner Health and in the medical profession was awarded to third-year UQ-Ochsner medical student, Ms Monique Salazar.

Monique Salazar received the 2022 Perla S. Gill, MD Scholarship, which supports female medical students of Hispanic descent, a group who have traditionally been under-represented in the medical profession. 

Before starting her medical school journey, Monique grew up in Miami, Florida, with a mother originally from Cuba and her father from Nicaragua.

“I’ve always been interested in the field of medicine as my great-grandfather was a doctor in Nicaragua,” Monique said.

“I studied Human Health as my undergraduate degree at Emory University and later worked as a research specialist for world-renowned Ethnobotanist Associate Professor Cassandra Quave at Emory University.”

“I first heard about the program after my father read about it in the Wall Street Journal and was encouraged to apply. I saw it as a great opportunity to learn different health systems”, she said.

Now in her third year of the medical program, Monique is exploring sub-specialties within the medical field.

The award was made at the April 19 meeting of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) with the President, Elena Rios as a guest speaker.

Leo Seoane, MD, Chief Academic Officer at Ocshner Health and Claudia Medina, Director, International Program at Ochsner Health presented Monique Salazar with the scholarship award.

The Perla S. Gil, MD Scholarship is supported by a generous endowed fund established in honor of Dr. Perla S. Gil. Dr. Gil was born in Santiago, Cuba and grew up in Spain and Peru. Her father was an ophthalmologist, and she followed in his footsteps in a career in medicine. Dr. Gil trained at The Ochsner Clinic and Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco before practicing anesthesiology for over 20 years at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California.