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Additional resource: Face COVID – How to respond effectively to the Corona crisis by Dr. Russ Harris

Local Medical Student Receives Foundation Scholarship

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gillian Naro, of Southampton, Pa., in Bucks County, is the recipient of the Scott A. Gunder, MD, Dauphin County Medical Society Presidential Scholarship offered through The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Naro, a medical student at Penn State College of Medicine, will receive $1,500 toward her tuition.  She is the daughter of Nick and Erin Naro, of Southhampton.  

2018 Gunder Recipient Gilllian NaroNaro, a student of philosophy and psychology who worked in social services post-graduation, found a desire to study and practice medicine. She decided to change careers and go back to school. Additionally, while working in clinical vaccine development, she said she wanted to better understand immunology and pathology. She was also inspired to study medicine during a semester abroad.

Naro said, “My semester abroad encompassed an academic course on the history of religion and colonization in Uganda. My colleagues and I decided that after spending so much time in the community learning from brilliant professors and historians, we would like to give back by volunteering at a local hospital, distributing food, and cleaning supplies. While spending time with patients and hearing stories of their illnesses and trials, I was desperate to help. I felt a desire to take action, to put a skill into practice.    I watched the physicians in the hospital formulate a plan based on the knowledge they had gathered and execute that plan. I was mesmerized by this practice. I wanted to be a part of that team. I felt a need to act.”

Naro followed the pursuit of medicine through research, post-baccalaureate education, and finally medical school.  She said, “I emerged with a new view of humanity that involved both pathology and passion for others. This love of humanity enables me to act. Doctors are ordinary human beings with imperfect skills and incomplete information, but with a passion to help and an ability to improve outcomes and change lives. My devotion to this universal study and practice of medicine is nothing short of a lifelong pursuit to care for, aid, and love others.”

Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded the Scott A. Gunder, MD, Dauphin County Medical Society Presidential Scholarship to a second-year medical student attending Penn State College of Medicine. Through this scholarship, the memory of Gunder, a 39-year-old Harrisburg gastroenterologist will continue.

The Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, has been helping to finance medical education for more than 60 years.  The Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society provides programs and services for individual physicians and others that improve the well-being of Pennsylvanians and sustain the future of medicine.

For information about this scholarship, call the Foundation’s Student Financial Services office at (717) 558-7854, or visit