The public image of physicians and their families is unlikely to be one of
financial hardship. Yet, as with other American families, physician families
are subject to adversities and tough times. Unexpected or tragic events can
leave physicians' spouses, partners, or children in a precarious financial
Take, for instance, the case of Elba Cruz of Miami. Four years ago, her
physician husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Neither she nor her
husband were able to work during the two-and-a-half years that he was ill.
After he died in the summer of 2002, Elba didn't have enough money to support
herself and her three children. Fortunately she managed to get a job as a
geriatric social worker. Nonetheless, she wanted to go farther as a social
worker, both to earn better money and to help her clients to a greater degree.
And that meant getting a master's degree in social work from Florida
International University. Yet how could she swing it financially?
Federal loans are helping her pursue this goal, but so is an Elsa Barton
Scholarship. She is both grateful for the scholarship and honored to have
received it, she said.
What actually is the Elsa Barton Scholarship? It is offered by the APA
Alliance and provides financial assistance to enable a spouse, partner, or
dependent of a disabled, impaired, or deceased physician to continue or begin
postsecondary education. The scholarship may be applied to tuition, books,
computers, and other related educational expenses at a college, university, or
vocational institution in which the student is or will be enrolled.
Applications are now being sought for the 2004-05 Elsa Barton Scholarships.
Completed applications must be received at the APA Alliance office no later
than March 15, 2005.
Applications and additional information may be obtained from: the
APA Alliance online at<www.ApaAlliance.org>
or from Angela Poblocki, executive director, APA Alliance, P.O. Box 285, North
Boston, N.Y. 14110; phone (703) 907-7304; e-mail:
Tax-deductible donations to the APAA Elsa Barton Scholarship Fund may also be
sent to Poblocki. ▪