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Mississippi College Students Selected for Rural Physician Scholarships

Mississippi College student Macia Outlaw of Brandon
Mississippi College student Macia Outlaw of Brandon

Shadowing rural Mississippi physicians, Macia Outlaw discovered her professional calling.

Treating patients in Carthage, Dr. Jon Buchanan grappled with persistent health challenges in the region. Macia witnessed the year-round dedication of a family medicine physician in Leake County.

A Mississippi College student, Outlaw is thrilled to receive a $120,000 scholarship opening medical school doors to become a rural physician like Dr. Buchanan.

The Brandon resident is among eight MC students selected to obtain scholarships for medical or dental school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, UMMC officials say. The Legislature funded the program to increase the pool of rural physicians and dentists.

Receiving a four-year scholarship, Macia said is “a dream come true,” for a seat at UMMC’s School of Medicine in Jackson.

The healthcare profession is in her DNA. Her mother, Shateekna Leflore, works as a Mississippi registered respiratory therapist. “She is a living example of passionately accomplishing one’s goals, and essentially reared me to do the same.”

A Hinds Community College transfer student, Macia Outlaw, 20, is a Phi Theta Kappa honor society member. The Northwest Rankin High graduate operates a business. OB Great is her online platform to tutor students in chemistry, mathematics, and Spanish as well as offering ACT preparation.

One of Macia’s friends, MC junior T.J. McIntosh, is among the recipients of a $120,000 scholarship for medical school at UMMC. T.J. will enroll at the medical school in Jackson starting in 2022.

For two years, McIntosh excelled at Itawamba Community College where he was vice president of the Student Government Association. The Wren, Mississippi resident comes to the Clinton campus in August with numerous honors. That includes Phi Theta Kappa membership, being named Mr. ICC and induction into the Hall of Fame on the Fulton campus.

A 20-year-old Monroe County resident, T.J shadowed physicians to spark his interest in the medical field. A 2018 Amory High graduate, he saw his father, the late Torrance McIntosh, battle health problems. His dad passed away earlier this year.

“Being exposed to his health experience motivated me more to help him and people in similar situations as he was. Once I become a medical doctor, I plan to return to my hometown to serve the people of my community.”

Being chosen among nearly two dozen Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholars in June makes it possible for T.J. to achieve other noteworthy goals.

“I believe African American representation in medicine is so important,” McIntosh said. “Diversity and representation from all walks of life greatly improve the patient/physician experience.”

Friends at Itawamba Community College and now Mississippi College view T.J. as a role model.

“I believe it is important for students of color to see people who look like them achieve the same goals that they might have for themselves,” McIntosh said. “I know younger students look up to me, as I look up to people who have accomplished the things I wish to accomplish in life.”

Other Mississippi College students selected for UMMC scholarships include Bailey Steen of Florence. She will enroll at the School of Dentistry starting in 2022.

MC students chosen for medical school scholarships include Rebecca Grewe of Flora, Kenley Cochran of Beaumont, Neha Dhaliwa of Canton, Hannah Mixon of Vancleave and Max Pappas of Laurel.

Dr. Wahnee Sherman, director of the rural physicians program based at UMMC, welcomes the new students enrolling in 2021 and 2022. “We are looking forward to working with them and helping them become physicians, dentists and leaders in rural Mississippi.”