August 16, 2022

UAB medical student awarded prestigious American Association of University Women fellowship

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khawla suhailaKhawla “Shefa” Suhaila, a fourth-year medical student at the UAB Heersink School of Medicine, was awarded the 2022-23 Selected Professions Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Suhaila's fellowship award will help fund her medical education and passion for global health at UAB. Recipients of the Selected Professional Fellowship are selected based on academic excellence and a demonstrated commitment to education and equity for women and girls. This fellowship supports women who are enrolled in selected master’s degree or professional degree programs in which women’s participation has traditionally been low.

“I felt honored and excited when I learned I was chosen as a fellow this year,” Suhaila said. “As I begin my fourth year in medical school, this fellowship will allow me to focus on preparing for residency interviews and navigate my next steps in achieving a successful career in medicine.”

Suhaila, a student on UAB’s Montgomery Regional Medical Campus, plans to pursue residency training in family medicine obstetrics. Her interest is in global health, and she seeks to increase health care access internationally through patient education, capacity building and policy changes, from her home country of Bangladesh to her current home in Alabama.

At UAB, Suhaila has been active in leadership for the Family Medicine Interest Group, Global Health Interest Group, and the Student Advisory Board for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion: Student Affairs. She was also selected as both a Health Equity Scholar and Dean’s Primary Care Scholar—two competitive programs in the Heersink School of Medicine created to develop future physician leaders and provide educational enrichment throughout medical school.

She also served as part of the survey development team for the Independent Student Analysis, a key resource submitted by the medical school for its re-accreditation efforts.

Over the past 134 years, AAUW has provided more than $135 million in fellowships, grants and awards to 13,000 women from 150 countries. Applications for the 2023-2024 cycle are now open.