The South Carolina Osteopathic Medical Society (SCOMS) Student DO of the Year Award honors a current DO student who exemplifies what it means to be an osteopathic physician, shows compassion, leadership and enthusiasm for medicine and demonstrates a strong commitment to philanthropic and community service.
This year’s recipient, Joseph Metz, is not an ordinary medical student, but rather an individual who readily accepts all challenges, yearns for knowledge, always displays compassion and truly strives to continually be the best version of himself.
In 2020, Metz received the Mary Black Medical Staff Endowed Scholarship in recognition of his contributions to the community and his commitment for improving healthcare in South Carolina. In 2021, VCOM submitted a request to the William Randolph Hearst Foundation for scholarship funding for students pursuing careers in primary care medicine. It was Joseph Metz’s compelling testimony that not only overwhelmingly impressed VCOM, but also weighed heavily in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s decision to grant VCOM $125,000 to fund scholarships for 50 students.
In 2022, as Metz was approaching his final months as a medical student, he did the unimaginable. He established a scholarship at VCOM-Carolinas in recognition of students who are determined and inspired by the lifelong commitment of making a tangible difference within our healthcare community. The “Be The Change Scholarship” awards $2,500 annually to an outstanding osteopathic medical student who has demonstrated commitment to developing solutions for the betterment of all individuals, who has excelled academically, who is in financial need and who works daily to encourage a more compassionate, unified future.
The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial aid to students who recognize that medical school education is much more than reading a textbook. The scholarship recognizes students who use their medical school education to recognize fallacies in either our current understanding of disease or clinical care and develop solutions to improve such issue. It also recognizes students who understand that medical school education is about creating tightly anchored relationships with local community members while helping to provide generational change for community families.
“Joseph truly embraces both the science of medicine and the art of medicine,” said Dr. Matthew Cannon, DO, dean of VCOM-Carolinas. “He handles the rigors of medical school with relative ease and makes ample time to assist his fellow classmates in their studies when needed. The field of medicine needs more people like Joseph as he relates to patients, treats them with utmost respect and is selfless in all his actions.”
”I’ve grown up in a medically underserved population within the Upstate of South Carolina,” said Metz. “I’ve seen the value in providing much needed healthcare to my community, and I look forward to completing my medical training, returning back to this community and serving a community that has provided me so much.”