Zoha Mian, a third-year medical student at the UofL School of Medicine, has a passion for helping diverse populations achieve equal health care.
“Social justice is at the foundation of why I pursued medicine,” Mian said. “I believe that health care is a human right and that people of all cultures and backgrounds deserve to be treated with equitable, high-quality care.”
This belief has motivated her throughout medical school and inspired her to apply for a master’s degree in public eye care in order to directly impact the health care conditions of impoverished populations locally and abroad. Mian realized her passion for ophthalmology when she shadowed a doctor who provided free eye surgeries and training. Inspired by how a simple surgery to cure blindness could empower someone to get an education, live independently without a disability and pursue their dreams, Mian was dedicated to becoming an ophthalmologist.
In May, Mian was awarded a $50,000 Rotary Global Grant Scholarship to attend the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The scholarship is designed for students pursuing a career in an area of great humanitarian need and have a long-term commitment to measurable and sustainable change. Students must be sponsored by a local Rotary club in their place of permanent residence or full-time study.
“The rotary club has a long history of service and humanitarian work, and I found that I shared similar goals with the organization,” Mian said. “As a public eye care master’s candidate, I believe I can gain valuable knowledge and experience to be a successful social justice leader, physician, and policy maker.”
As a future ophthalmologist, Mian hopes to create an equitable health care system for diverse populations. She believes her experience at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will widen her cultural competence and knowledge in research and epidemiology and allow the opportunity to work intensely in preventing detrimental ocular disease.
Mian attributes her award to the support of her faculty mentors at the School of Medicine, Bethany Smith and Susan Sawning, as well as her community involvement during her first years of medical school. During her time as a medical student, she has been extensively involved with the American Medical Association creating health policy. She is the co-founder of Grow502, a professional student-led nonprofit organization aiming to address health care disparities in the Louisville community, and also the co-founder of Physicians for Human Rights. These experiences have led her to live a life of service.