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Mitchell Lippy '19
When choosing to attend graduate school, medical school in particular, it can be a tough decision as the ever-increasing cost of a graduate education continues to rise.
Many students rely on scholarships in this day and age to receive an undergraduate degree, and a graduate degree if they’re fortunate enough to receive financial assistance.
For Mitchell Lippy, a Winchester, Va. native, his reasoning for attending medical school has to do with impacting the health of others—but his choice to attend WVU has to do with the impression left on him.
A first-year medical student, Lippy has received two scholarships that are greatly impacting his education.
“I received the Mountaineer Medical Scholarship and the Dr. and Mrs. Hugh Carr Scholarship,” said Lippy. “Receiving the scholarships really allowed me to attend medical school and made me realize becoming a physician was not out of reach for me.”
And while scholarships have monetary benefit, they also play a role in academic achievement and lessening of mental stress as the burden of debt is greatly lightened. With medical school debt nearing—or even exceeding—$200,000, private philanthropic giving allows for students to focus solely on receiving an education and choosing which path is right for them.
“Although no one goes into medical school thinking about how much you will make when you’re done, it is something that, unfortunately, can become more of a consideration as you watch your student loans pile up,” said Lippy. “I would never want salary to be a consideration in choosing a medical specialty, and having a scholarship to lessen my student loan burden has allowed me to focus solely on what I enjoy and what specialties appeal to me from a professional and academic standpoint. The cost of medical school as an out of state student can be very intimidating and receiving a scholarship has allowed me to focus on my coursework more and worry less about expenses for school.”
Aside from the monetary assistance, Lippy also mentioned that his reasoning for choosing WVU had to do with the overwhelming sense of community and support he’s received from faculty, staff and administration within the School of Medicine.
Having attended a very small college for his undergraduate degree, Lippy was in search of a large and welcoming community for medical school, which he says he’s received during his time in Morgantown.
While he is unsure of what specialty he wants to go into following graduation or where he specifically wants to practice, he mentioned his hopes of staying at WVU or living in West Virginia following the completion of his education.
“In high school I had the opportunity to shadow a local physician and that helped me to realize I wanted to work in the healthcare field in some capacity,” Lippy mentioned. “I would like to stay in West Virginia because I really enjoy the atmosphere here at WVU, and I enjoy working with the patient population in the state. [West Virginia] is not a particularly healthy state in general, so it’s a place where I feel like I could really make a difference and hopefully have a positive impact.”
Following graduation, Lippy plans on supporting students through private philanthropic contributions, offering the same support he’s been given as a student. He also stresses the importance of giving if a donor may be hesitant to do so.
“I would remind people that donations, even small donations, have a huge impact on students,” Lippy said. “The cost of education can be overwhelming and every little bit helps. In addition, I think some donors might not realize that their donations have more than just monetary benefits and I would remind them of that. Receiving a scholarship from a donor can give affirmation to students wanting to pursue their dreams; it’s almost like knowing that someone else out there is rooting for you and believes in you. As a student, having someone who you’ve never met before be willing to essentially invest in you is very powerful.”