News & Announcements

NBME Supports Medical Students with New Scholarship Program

A black doctor wearing gray scrubs works at a deck with a computer.

Ten Inaugural Recipients Selected in Partnership with National Medical Fellowships

“At NBME, we are acutely aware of the stress medical students face, particularly the financial burden they undertake in the pursuit of their education,” NBME President and CEO Peter Katsufrakis, MD, MBA, said. “We are excited about the opportunity to be able to lessen the financial burden in hopes of making the path to education more accessible. We look forward to advancing additional opportunities to assist learners.”

NBME is committed to providing meaningful support to learners as they pursue a career in medicine. By providing scholarships, the organization will assist students with financial need in addressing the costs of medical education.

“National Medical Fellowships is honored to partner with NBME on its prestigious scholarship program that advances diversity in the medical profession. NBME is committed to the fight to advance health equity, and we applaud their inspirational leadership,” NMF President and CEO Michellene Davis, Esq., said.

“NMF’s work is at the nexus of the health-wealth gap. With the cost of medical school continuing to rise, and many students of color who come from historically marginalized communities, the pathway to medical education is becoming untenable for too many brilliant students of color. I am delighted that NBME is offering an exemplary model for a successful scholarship program, and I encourage other like-minded entities to consider engaging in equally impactful partnerships with NMF.”

— Michellene Davis, Esq.

Inaugural Recipients of the NBME-NMF Scholarship:

Jonathan Brisbon is a fourth-year medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at New Jersey Medical School. Despite the challenges he has faced in his educational journey, Brisbon believes being passionate and hardworking can lead to achieving your dreams.

Samantha Guerra-Lopez is a first-year medical student at Midwestern University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Abilene Christian University. She also earned a master’s degree in public health from Texas Tech University Health Science Center and a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Midwestern University.

“As an incoming medical student, I understand the expenses that come with being an aspiring physician and the increased burden of not being eligible for federal aid,” Guerra-Lopez said. This scholarship will help diminish the financial burden and allow her to focus on school and continue to volunteer as a mentor to other first-generation students like herself.

Peiton Jarmon is a third-year medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in medicine, health and society from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in pharmacology from Tulane University School of Medicine. Jarmon is a first-generation college student and works as a tutor. By decreasing her financial stress, this scholarship will help her focus on eliminating the health disparities that underrepresented and systematically disadvantaged women face. 

Gabriella Kuffour is a fourth-year medical student at Howard University College of Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a master’s degree in biology from Chatham University. Kuffour is committed to bringing service, research and medical education to the socioeconomically disadvantaged after witnessing the passion her grandmother possessed while running a maternity clinic in Ghana. She wishes to reach her full academic potential without financial constraints. With this scholarship, she hopes to continue her career goal of serving vulnerable women in underserved communities.

Stephanie Martinez is a fourth-year medical student at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and Spanish language and literature. She also earned a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in infectious disease epidemiology from Florida International University. Martinez was raised by immigrant grandparents and developed a passion for medical care when she became more responsible for helping with their health-related issues.

“These experiences have helped shape me into the person I am today and have only fueled my desire to pursue medicine so I can lead efforts in serving patients like my grandparents,” Martinez said.

Ivy Ochieng is a second-year medical student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and music from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts. She also earned a master’s degree in science from Drexel University College of Medicine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies. Ochieng previously worked as a teacher at an elementary school in which the majority of students were from low-income backgrounds. While working at this school, she saw how a lack of proper access to health care impacted children, helping shape her perspective.

“I truly believe bringing health care into educational systems allows for better access and health care for underserved pediatric communities,” Ochieng said.

Lois Owolabi is a third-year medical student at Harvard Medical School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. Lois is pursuing medicine to improve health care access in rural communities. Her family immigrated to Texas, but her grandmother considered Nigeria her home and wanted to return. Owolabi knew returning to Nigeria was a risk; their village did not have running water, electricity or medical care. She became determined to make health care accessible for all. She believes alleviating the financial burden with a scholarship such as this is important to her educational development.

Lashawn Pena is a second-year medical student at SUNY Downstate Health Science University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Hunter College and a master’s degree in immunology from Standford University School of Medicine. Pena, a first-generation college graduate, grew up in a single-parent household and decided that pursuing an education would be the best way to achieve his dreams and assist his mother. With this scholarship, he hopes to continue dedicating more time to making a difference in the lives of those from disadvantaged backgrounds and fulfilling his passion for increasing diversity in medicine.

Breeana Snowball is a first-year medical student at Morehouse School of Medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from Auburn University. She also completed post-baccalaureate studies at Georgia State University. After facing tragedy in her life, Snowball decided to pursue medicine to serve her community and dismantle systematic health disparities she had witnessed. As a first-generation college graduate, she was unaware how large of a financial burden her education would be.

“Although I am grateful for my experiences, the journey to medicine has been an expensive one so far. Receiving this scholarship will not only decrease the student loan burden I will face after completing medical school, but it will allow me to have an even more fulfilling and exciting experience as a medical student,” Snowball said.

Korey Walter is a second-year medical student at William Caret University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a master’s degree in clinical anatomy from Tulane University School of Medicine. The first time Walter met a Black physician was when he was 22 years old.

“Up until that point it was difficult for me to believe becoming a physician was a realistic goal because I’ve never met one,” Walter said. As the father of two boys, Walter’s motivation and drive within medicine comes from wanting to be an influential role model to them. He wants his sons to know all things are possible.

NBME Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief DEI Officer Linda Gadsby, Esq., believes this scholarship not only provides financial support, but also fosters diverse perspectives, which is important in creating a more inclusive and equitable health care system.

“The recipients of this scholarship are all exceptional learners who display compassion, a sense of purpose and the will to shape the future of health care,” Gadsby said. “I am extremely proud of these young people and their commitment to delivering exceptional health care to diverse communities.” 

About NBME

NBME offers a versatile selection of high-quality assessments and educational services for students, professionals, educators and institutions dedicated to the evolving needs of medical education and health care. To serve these communities, we collaborate with a comprehensive array of professionals including test developers, academic researchers, scoring experts, physicians, medical educators, state medical board members and public representatives.

Together with the Federation of State Medical Boards, NBME develops and manages the United States Medical Licensing Examination®. In addition, we are committed to meeting the needs of educators and learners globally with assessment products and expert services such as Subject ExaminationsCustomized Assessment ServicesSelf-Assessments, the International Foundations of Medicine® and Item-Writing Workshops.

NBME also provides medical education funding and mentorship through the Latin America Grants ProgramStemmler Fund and Strategic Educators Enhancement Fund, which serve to advance assessment at educators’ and health professionals’ own institutions. Learn more about NBME at

About NMF

National Medical Fellowships (NMF) is a nonprofit organization that advances health equity –where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their highest level of health regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status or geography. Founded in 1946, NMF seeks to eliminate health care disparities by increasing the number of Black, Indigenous, Latine, People of Color physicians and other health care professionals working to advance health equity. NMF has awarded over $50 million in scholarships and offers service-learning programs, mentorship opportunities and clinical research leadership training for chronically marginalized students and practitioners of medicine, behavioral health and related health professions. To learn more about NMF, visit