SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Nov. 1, 2022 – Buckfire Law is pleased to announce Devin Barzallo, of Jersey City, New Jersey, has been named this year’s recipient of the 2022 Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Medical School Diversity Scholarship.
This annual award began in 2014 as a way for the Michigan-based law firm to show its commitment to helping medical students pursue their educational and career goals.
Barzallo is currently enrolled at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, with plans to complete his residency in Cleveland.
Barzallo’s parents immigrated from Ecuador in the mid-1990s and were faced with language barriers and housing instability. Barzallo said that it was difficult to navigate the healthcare system and he was relied on as their interpreter. His grandmother passed away from metastatic melanoma, which lead to his interest in dermatology and oncology.
Once Barzallo began shadowing dermatologists, he realized there was a lack of diversity in the field. He then created a high school program with the mentorship of a physician at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
“We host monthly sessions with 40 minority high school students and get physicians from the area to come in and tell them about their path to medicine and dermatology,” Barzallo said.
Additionally, Barzallo worked in various roles throughout different LGBTQ+ organizations in Cleveland. He started an HPV vaccination campaign for members of the community with the Cleveland Clinic and initiated a program at University Hospitals for staff to wear pronoun pins. Barzallo is continuing to work with other physicians to create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ patients to seek care, and mentorship opportunities.
Barzallo has worked in three leadership roles through the Black and Latino Medical Student Associations SNMA/LMSA, where he held several COVID-19 vaccine-related initiatives, escorted Latinx patients to free cancer screenings, and held a Thanksgiving foodbank in partnership with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
He also most recently was awarded a medical education research fellowship where he worked on diversifying skin tone representation in the medical school curriculum. With the Chair of dermatology, Barzallo created a skin of color lecture, diversified skin tone representation within their curriculum, added patients of color in their problem-based learning curriculum, and expanded the skin tone of mannequins for medical procedure practice.
“Devin’s empathy for other patients of color and for LGBTQ+ patients is wonderful,” said Lawrence J. Buckfire, President and Lead Trial Attorney at Buckfire Law. “It’s so important for patients to feel comfortable with their doctor, and it’s important for doctors to see diversity within their colleagues, their patients, and their curriculum. We couldn’t be prouder to name him this year’s winner of the Buckfire Law Medical School Diversity Scholarship.”
Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. awards one student each year with the $2,000 Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Medical School Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship is available to a student attending medical school who is also a member of an ethnic, racial, or other minority, or someone who demonstrates a commitment to issues of diversity within their community.
Founded in 1969, Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. recognizes that most people are stressed and overwhelmed after a serious injury or unexpected death and don’t know where to turn. Buckfire Law Firm provides superior legal representation and helps them from start to finish. Our clients receive fair compensation and get peace of mind. The firm offers four separate academic scholarships annually for students wanting to continue their education. For more information on the scholarship program, visit our page.
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