Professional News
Barton Scholarship Seeks Applicants
Psychiatric News
Volume 38 Number 24 page 12-12

People sometimes ask me, "Why does the APA Alliance need to award an educational scholarship to a physician’s family? Aren’t they wealthy? How could a son, daughter, spouse, or partner not be able to afford to go to college?"

My reply stems from personal experience with scholarship applicants, whom I usually interview by phone as part of the application procedure. There can be many personal traumatic situations in the life of a physician, sometimes hidden, sometimes unexpected, that can have a devastating impact not only on the physician, but also on the spouse and/or children.

For example, due to stigma and sometimes a sense of denial, a physician may successfully hide a drug or alcohol dependency from his or her partner, spouse, colleagues, or patients until the physician becomes so impaired that he or she must enter a diversion program through a physician’s wellness program or a state-licensing board to continue practicing medicine. Sometimes a physician may not be allowed to practice medicine for quite a while or may lose his or her license.

When a situation like this occurs, there may be a drastic reduction in the income generated by the impaired physician, and the spouse may need to obtain additional education or take technical courses to support the family during this period. Likewise, a young adult family member of such a family may not have the funds to continue in a university program or to begin college.

While the Elsa Barton Educational Scholarship cannot address all the problems a family faces in the above situations, the scholarship can provide some financial assistance to a spouse or partner needing additional education to become the primary income provider. The scholarship can enable a daughter or son to remain at a university or to begin his or her college program or technical course of study.

APA members are asked to pass on information about the scholarship to those who may need it. In addition, the APA Alliance invites donations to the fund. Donations are tax deductible. Checks made out to the "APAA Elsa Barton Scholarship Fund" may be mailed to Angela Poblocki, Executive Director, APAA, P.O. Box 285, North Boston, N.Y. 14110.

Scholarship applications may be downloaded from the APA Alliance’s Web site at www.apaalliance.org/scholarships_contests.htm or obtained by calling (703) 907-7304. Applications and additional information are also available from Poblocki by mail at the above address or by e-mail at ang3689@aol.com.

Cathy Tasman is president-elect of the APA Alliance and chair of its Elsa Barton Scholarship.

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