NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, ZocDoc, a company with the mission of improving access to healthcare, is offering high school students the chance to win a grand prize scholarship of $6,000 to the accredited college of their choice, or $4,000 and $2,000 scholarships for the runner-up and finalists, respectively. To apply, students visit www.zocdoc.com/scholarship and submit a one- to two-page essay discussing a personal health experience, how it relates to the healthcare system as a whole, and any changes they would make to the healthcare system as a result. Entries are due on or before March 31, 2013.
Submissions will be judged on writing quality, essay relevance, merit of idea, GPA, and leadership experience by a panel of distinguished healthcare experts, including:
- Nassim Assefi, MD – Global Women's Health Specialist and Novelist
- Carol Cassella, MD – Anesthesiologist and Novelist
- Mario Deng, MD – Director of Advanced Heart Failure Program and Professor, UCLA
- Oliver Kharraz, MD – Founder and COO, ZocDoc
- John La Puma, MD – Men's Health Expert, Author, Chef, and Co-Founder, ChefMD
- Keri Peterson, MD – Internist, Media Spokesperson, and Columnist, Women's Health Magazine
The top five entries will be named finalists and published on ZocDoc's dedicated Generation Health Scholarship page, along with a short personal video shot by a professional film crew, for public voting. The winner as determined by public vote will receive a $6,000 scholarship, the runner-up will receive a $4,000 scholarship, and three finalists will each receive a $2,000 scholarship.
"Not only are career opportunities within healthcare growing, but critical changes to the cost and access of care will significantly impact all students," said Oliver Kharraz, MD, Founder and COO, ZocDoc. "We hope this scholarship will inspire the next class of healthcare disruptors while helping them achieve their academic goals."
The $2.7 trillion healthcare industry is in need of innovation, representing 18 percent of the U.S. GDP. An estimated $750 billion is wasted due to excessive administrative costs, unnecessary services, and missed opportunities for preventive care. Medical bills, even for those with insurance, contribute to over half of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. Complicated by changing healthcare policies and the worsening doctor shortage, healthcare will be a defining issue for this generation of innovators. By offering this scholarship, ZocDoc hopes to encourage today's young leaders to learn about this important industry, how it affects them, and what they can do to create change.
Submissions Deadline – March 31, 2013
Finalists Announced – May 6, 2013
Public Voting Period – May 6-14, 2013
Winners Announced – May 15, 2013
More than 2.5 million patients each month use ZocDoc to find a nearby doctor or dentist and instantly book an appointment online. The company's most recent product, ZocDoc Check-In, allows patients to fill out their paperwork online in advance of their appointment. By revealing the 'hidden supply' of appointments, ZocDoc helps patients receive faster access to care and optimizes doctors' schedules. ZocDoc has raised $95 million in investments to date and is currently available in +1,700 cities covering 40 percent of the US population. This service is free for patients via ZocDoc.com or the free ZocDoc apps for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. A Spanish-language version called ZocDoc en Espanol is also available (espanol.zocdoc.com; iPhone and Android).
About Nassim Assefi, MD:
Dr. Nassim Assefi, is an internist specializing in women's health and global medicine, humanitarian aid worker, civic activist, TED Fellow, and author of two novels, Aria and Say I Am You. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, University of Washington Medical School, and Harvard's Brigham and Women's residency program.
About Carol Cassella, MD:
Dr. Carol Cassella is a practicing anesthesiologist, board certified in internal medicine and anesthesiology, and author of bestselling novels Oxygen and Healer. Dr. Cassella graduated from Duke University with a degree in English Literature and worked in publishing for several years before earning her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine.
About Mario Deng, MD:
Dr. Mario Deng is a Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at UCLA. Previously, Dr. Deng served as Director of the Interdisciplinary Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Program at Muenster University in Germany and Cardiac-Transplantation Research at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Deng earned his medical degree from The University of Berlin.
About Oliver Kharraz, MD:
Dr. Oliver Kharraz is a founder and COO of ZocDoc. Previously, Dr. Kharraz was an Associate Principal at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he developed and implemented new patient utilization models for a number of governments and major hospital chains. He holds an MD and PhD from Ludwig Maximilian Universitat Munich, and a MA from the College for Philosophy, Munich.
About John La Puma, MD:
Dr. John La Puma is a practicing physician, board-certified in internal medicine, earning degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Baylor College of Medicine; a professionally trained chef, previously cooking under James Beard-award winning chef Rick Bayless; and author of bestsellers The RealAge Diet and ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine.
About Keri Peterson, MD:
Dr. Keri Peterson is a practicing physician, board certified in internal medicine; medical contributor and columnist for Women's Health Magazine; and a regular guest on the programs such as The Today Show, CNN, and more. Dr. Peterson obtained her bachelor degree from Cornell University and received her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
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