The Lehigh County Medical Auxiliary’s Scholarship and Educational (LeCoMASE) fund of $2,500 was awarded to Carly G. Muller by the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Muller currently resides in Miami Beach, Florida, and is a second-year medical student at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience from the Ohio State University. She is from Macungie, and is the daughter of Richard and Andrea Muller, and the late Carol Muller.
Muller is specializing in pediatrics. She sees the opportunity to work with children as one that provides much hope. “I am passionate about the unique opportunity childhood provides for prevention,” she said. “Habits are not yet formed, nor is development finished, thus taking time to encourage healthy behaviors early can prevent many complications later in life.”
She also noted that being able to change a child’s path for the future is an exciting benefit to pediatrics. “The young body has an incredible ability to heal from illness,” she said. “Assisting with this healing as a pediatric physician can change the entire course of a child’s future.”
Muller possesses a deeply personal connection to the field. She has overcome adversity and is eager to provide support to other children in similar circumstances. “My mother passed away after a long battle with breast cancer when I was 13 years old, and although losing her was one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life, it left me with the ability to empathize deeply,” she said. “I encountered painful experiences at a young age; experiences which take away innocence and optimism. I plan to use what I learned from my struggles to be a source of support for kids and families going through health challenges. I want to be on the team that fights for the lives of people who believe in magic, superheroes and Santa.”
Muller also is a strong advocate for ethics in the practice of medicine. She serves as the ethics representative for the MD/MPH Class of 2021 on the Miller School of Medicine Student Council. She is also a member of the Council of Honorable and Professional Conduct. She has worked extensively exploring global health ethics as part of her dual program in medicine and public health. “I do not believe that where a person is born should determine his/her ability to be healthy,” she said. “During my summer field work, I observed disparity on a large scale. I spent four weeks in a rural area of the Dominican Republic assessing prenatal care and gaining a better understanding of the challenges faced by mothers. … I left the DR deeply convinced that it is unacceptable for people to die from things that could be easily prevented if they lived elsewhere. As a future physician, I plan to work both locally and globally to reduce health care disparities.”
Muller acknowledges there are other barriers to health care aside from poverty, including stigma, implicit bias and language. “After spending time in Haiti while unable to speak any Creole, I was struck by how much the quality of medical care is influenced by effective communication with the patient,” she said. “Because of this, I am incredibly motivated to improve my Spanish fluency in the next three years. I desire to become a physician who is understanding and accepting of people in all walks of life and to provide care which holds patient comfort and trust as paramount.”
This award is possible thanks to contributions from the Lehigh County Medical Auxiliary’s Scholarship and Educational Fund Inc. LeCoMASE established this fund within the Foundation to assist Lehigh County residents with the cost of attending medical school. The nonprofit corporation, based in Allentown, was formed in the late 1960s to help qualified members of the community meet the cost of earning a medical or nursing degree.
The Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, sustains the future of medicine in Pennsylvania by providing programs that support medical education, physician health and excellence in practice. It has been helping to finance medical education for more than 60 years.
For more information about this scholarship, or other scholarship opportunities, please visit www.foundationpamedsoc.org/student-financial-services/scholarships. For questions, contact the Foundation’s Student Financial Services Director, Deborah Monko, at (717) 558-7854.