A Champion for Primary Care

Financial Aid and Education

a woman is having a blood pressure cuff put around her arm.Primary care professionals are often a patient’s first point of contact in the health care system. They are critical in helping people prolong their lives, navigate often-complicated health systems, connect with needed specialists, and much more.

Recognizing the importance of primary care and wanting to alleviate the fiscal disincentives to go into the field, Edward “Ed” Scolnick, AB ’61, MD ’65, is establishing a $1M donor-advised fund that will be used to create the Primary Care Loan Forgiveness Fund at Harvard Medical School with an initial $250,000 gift and provide additional support in perpetuity. The HMS fund will give financial aid in the form of debt reduction through loan forgiveness to support students who join a primary care residency program.

Scolnick’s gift pays tribute to Allan Goroll, MD ’73, a professor of medicine at HMS and a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. As a former patient of Goroll’s, Scolnick says he appreciates both the excellent care he received and Goroll’s dedication to the field.

Russell Phillips, MD, director of the HMS Center for Primary Care and the William Applebaum Professor of Medicine at HMS and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, says he’s thankful for this gift because it “is a wonderful way to acknowledge Dr. Goroll’s life work and the importance of primary care as the foundation of our health system. It is essential that leading schools such as Harvard set an example to others by encouraging our students to pursue careers in primary care. Helping with loan repayment is one important way to do that.”

Scolnick has a great fondness for HMS and says he is indebted to the School for the education he received, which changed his life dramatically. “I encourage others to give back if they can financially afford to do so,” he says.

It is essential that leading schools such as Harvard set an example to others by encouraging our students to pursue careers in primary care. Helping with loan repayment is one important way to do that.
Russell Phillips