Release Date: 4/21/2022
Ochsner Academics is pleased to announce that Monique Salazar, a third year student of the UQ Ochsner Clinical School, was awarded the 2022 Perla S. Gill, MD Scholarship. The scholarship was established to enhance diversity at Ochsner and in the medical profession. The award supports female Ochsner Clinical School students of Hispanic descent, a group who have traditionally been under-represented in the medical profession.
Monique was born and raised in Miami, Florida to parents of Cuban-Nicaraguan descent. Her mother emigrated to the United States from Cuba as a young child and her father came to our country from Nicaragua as a teenager. Monique has family roots in medicine, as her paternal great-grandfather was a doctor in Nicaragua.
Monique attended Emory University, receiving an undergraduate degree in Human Health. She later worked as a research specialist for world-renowned Cassandra Quave, PhD, an ethnobotanist, and associate professor at Emory University. At UQ, OCS, 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). The President of the NHMA, Elena Rios, MD, was the virtual guest speaker and addressed a group of over 50 Hispanic providers and medical students.
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.
About the Perla S. Gil, MD Scholarship
Dr. Gil was born in Santiago, Cuba and grew up in Spain and Peru. As a teenager, she traveled with her father, an ophthalmologist, to remote villages who provided free eye exams and other care to children. She ultimately studied medicine herself in Lima, specializing in anesthesiology. But when she applied for a residency, she found the doors shut. In the early 1950s, most programs were not interested in admitting a young Hispanic woman.
Through the efforts of Dr. Dean H. Echols, who oversaw graduate medical education at Ochsner, Dr. Gil was awarded a fellowship in 1952 to train at the Ochsner Clinic. She then went to Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco, CA before practicing anesthesiology for over 20 years at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, CA.
The Perla S. Gil, MD Scholarship is supported by a generous endowment established by her husband in her honor. It is intended to award stipends to medical students who have long been underrepresented in medicine.