David Wood ASAHPDavid Wood, ASAHP scholarship winnerDavid Wood, a second-year student in the UAB Physician Assistant program, was awarded a Scholarship of Excellence by the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions. Only 12 students in the U.S. received this honor and Wood is the only Physician Assistant student in the group.

“It was humbling just to have our program director think highly enough of me to nominate me - so to win, is a blessing,” said Wood. “I am honored to represent the PA profession which is made up of so many people who help others with their medical skills in all different aspects of their life.”

The ASAHP scholarship is a $1,000 cash award given to students “who are achieving excellence” in their programs and “have significant potential to assume future leadership roles.” Students were required to write a paper on how their education can be used for service to others.

Wood detailed his four mission trips to Ghana, in West Africa, as well as trips to South Sudan and Central America. In Ghana, he has helped an orphanage create a sustainable business and worked with children’s education. His most recent mission was a Spring Break trip to the Dominican Republic with some of his PA student colleagues.

“Life always gets busy so there can always be an excuse to be selfish but there are so many people around us that just need help and they need love,” said Wood. “To serve others is what I feel I am called to do - to love people and to serve people no matter what the cost is to me, that’s what I’m here on Earth for.”

Wood has one more year before he graduates. He begins clinicals in January, which last all of 2015, and then graduates in December 2015.