Scholarship named for physician killed in Chicago hospital shooting

Several alumni of the UIC College of Medicine in Chicago have raised funds to create a scholarship fund to honor Tamara O'Neal, MD, the physician killed during a shooting at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in November 2018.

Three things to know:

1. Dr. O'Neal graduated from the medical school in 2014 and completed her residency there in 2017. She was working as an emergency room physician at the Chicago-based hospital in November when a gunman fatally shot her and two others last year. The gunman was also killed during the incident.

2. Several of Dr. O'Neal's classmates have started the Tamara E. O'Neal Scholarship Fund to help make medical school education more affordable for a first-year student in the medical school's Urban Health Program. The group has raised more than $68,000 so far. It hopes to raise more to create and endowed scholarship and provide financial aid to a fourth-year student who plans to complete their residency in emergency medicine.

3. Chisalu Nchekwube, MD, a family medicine resident at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., spoke about Dr. O'Neal's commitment to helping her peers in a statement to UIC Today.

"Tamara made sure that our group of friends continued to get together even after we all graduated and were all over the country doing our residencies. Our group became like a family and Tamara was the matriarch, the glue that held us together," she said.

"Tamara made it her mission to expose underrepresented minority students to medicine as a potential career, and as a way to load the pipeline with minority physicians who would go on to treat patients of color," she added.

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