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University of Arizona Medical School will award new scholarships

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TUCSON - The University of Arizona primary care physician scholarship will be awarded to 21 medical students Friday afternoon.

These students will receive free tuition in exchange for working in underprivileged areas.

Fourth year student Cazandra Zaragoza is one of the 21 students who have earned the primary care physician scholarship.

In order to earn this scholarship, she spent time working with undeserved communities here in Southern Arizona.

"I spent a lot of time in the rural reservation of Sells which is part of the Tohono O'odham reservation and got to experience what it is like not to have access to care," said Zaragoza.

The main focus of this scholarship is keeping primary care doctors trained at the University of Arizona in the state.

By the year 2030, Arizona is expected to have a shortage of nearly 2,000 family doctors.

Dr. Michael Abecassis who is the dean of the university's medical school.

"These are all areas where there is a need for primary care especially in rural settings and so this was felt to be a very large need," said Abecassis.

Not only is this great for the people of Arizona who will need doctors, but it is also a big help with the student loans.

Zaragoza continued, "Being able to know that I will have more latitude to then go wherever I need to go to get the best training and then have more flexibility in order to do that."

Once this scholarship is fully implemented in a few years, the College of Medicine plans to give out 100 scholarships to students.

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Daniel McFarland

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