Congratulations to third-year Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) clinical student Austin Lutringer for earning the Empower Scholarship Fund (ESF) Ascend Learning Scholarship during the Spring 2021 award cycle! Austin is one of 16 students to receive a scholarship from ESF. Earning this $5,000 award allows Lutringer to continue his path on the medical student journey to contribute to important causes he believes in.
Lutringer’s interest in medicine started during his sophomore year of high school when his grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and stage 4 lung cancer. He assisted during the hospice stage by accompanying his grandmother, feeding her, changing her and administering her medication. Lutringer credits this experience as the moment he realized he wanted to continue caring for others through a career in medicine. He emerged into the medical world and started volunteering at hospitals and shadowing physicians.
Now in his third year of medical school, Lutringer is most proud of the impact he has made in the LGBTQ+ community thus far. In his second semester, Lutringer was able to restart the LGBTQ+ Alliance group on campus and connected with local organizations to get members certified to test students and community members for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. He also partnered the LGBTQ+ Alliance group with Barbados Family Planning and created a mental and sexual health workshop for students to learn how to interview LGBTQ+ patients and correctly take a sexual history. “I was able to educate students about HIV to try and lessen the stigma behind the diagnosis.”
Lutringer hopes to continue this path, “It is my goal to join another testing clinic to help promote safe sexual practices such as providing regular STD screenings and continue to educate the community about how they can prevent the spread of infectious diseases.” Thinking of specializing in Family Medicine, Lutringer hopes to create a safe space for young LGBTQ+ patients, who may face struggles due to how they identify. This makes Lutringer especially grateful for the ESF scholarship as it allows him to continue this mission of ending sexual health stigmas — something he feels extremely passionate about.
For current and future Rossies, Lutringer encourages students to have an open mind during the medical student journey, “Be flexible and adaptable…maintain a great mindset and find something you believe in that you know you want to make a difference in and keep driving with that.”
To start your medical education journey, visit RUSM.
Applications for the Empower Scholarship Fund 2021 Fall Award Cycle are being accepted now through October 24. Visit https://empower.awardspring.com/ to apply now.