UCF Med Student Earns National Award

Released on 08.24.2019

For Lacie Turnbull, being “The Good Doctor” is more than just healing the sick – it’s also about service and leadership. These tenets have been at the core of her medical school journey and have helped earned her the national Physicians of Tomorrow Award.

Turnbull is one of about 20 medical students across the country to receive the award from the American Medical Association. The honor includes $10,000 in tuition assistance to extraordinary medical students entering their fourth year of studies. Recipients are chosen based on their academic achievement, community involvement and financial need. Turnbull is the first UCF medical student to win the award.

“Lacie is an incredibly active and engaged student leader, with tremendous capacity to lead and accomplish at a very high level,” said Dr. Marcy Verduin, associate dean for students.  “I have been impressed by her ability to manage eight leadership positions over the past three years, while remaining one of the most positive and engaging people you will ever meet.”

“As the first UCF student to receive this honor,” Dr. Verduin added, “she has a tremendous opportunity to represent the excellence that characterizes our student body to the rest of the medical community on a national level.”

Before joining UCF, Turnbull graduated from the University of Michigan with honors, earning a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and a minor in gender and health.

At UCF, she has served in numerous leadership positions including President of the Class of 2020 Student Council. She also serves on the board of the KNIGHTS Clinic — a student-run free clinic that provides healthcare to the uninsured.

“These opportunities to serve early in my career have molded and will continually mold me into the leader I hope to be upon graduation,” she said.

As the first female president of the medical school’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Interest Group, Turnbull is passionate about supporting women entering male-dominated specialties like orthopedic surgery.

“Orthopedics first caught my attention after completing an internship at an orthopedic clinic in high school, learning for the first time how to read an X-ray or palpate the anatomy on a patient,” Turnbull said. “I’ve realized it’s a male dominated field and so I frequently vocalize the need for women leaders in these surgical subspecialties.”

Last year, she was inducted to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and was named the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award, which recognizes a student who has demonstrated the highest standards of academic achievement.

“My career goal is to be ‘The Good Doctor,'” she said. “And what I have pursued during medical school has laid the foundation and practice for what I hope to accomplish after graduation in patient care, service to the underserved, leadership, teaching, research and orthopedic surgery.”

Outside of medical school, Turnbull is an accomplished ballroom dancer, having placed first in competitions at the national collegiate level. This year, she will apply to residency programs around the country, and plans to continue to support women leaders in surgical subspecialties.

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