An impressive academic research career and a commitment to the LGBTQ+ community have prompted the national Women in Medicine organization to honor West Virginia University third-year medical student Ashlee Seldomridge as a $5,000 WIM Leadership Scholarship recipient for 2019.
“WIM is an inspiring, strong network of lesbian physicians with roots in activism since its creation in 1984. Through two years of WIM conferences, I’ve met people from across the country, and I am always inspired by those at WIM who advocate and fight for the LGBTQ+ community, both now and in the past. Being selected for this scholarship is truly an honor,” she said.
Seldomridge, a Lewisburg, West Virginia native, is a past president of the WVU Student Healthcare Alliance for Promoting Equality, better known as SHAPE. SHAPE members spread awareness to medical students and the medical community at large regarding the unique concerns regarding the LGBTQ+ community from the perspectives of both physicians and patients.
“All of WVU, including the downtown LGBTQ center and numerous departments within the hospital really supported SHAPE in planning the LGBTQ+ Health week, where we focused on advocating for sexual and gender minority patients as healthcare professionals,” said Seldomridge. “Many people at WVU and the surrounding community have really reached out in support and with ideas for future events. My hope is that we can continue the dialogue and aspire to have a truly inclusive environment.”
Not only is Seldomridge a current WVU School of Medicine medical student, she’s an alumnus of the School’s Exercise Physiology program and completed a prestigious one-year fellowship in cancer research at the National Cancer Institute.
While at the NCI, she worked with Dr. Deric Park in the Neuro-Oncology Branch of the NCI, researching methods to treat brain tumors.
“I love cancer research and I think the field is changing in terms of personalized medicine,” she said. “I don’t know if I will always be here in West Virginia, but you can go away to learn, while knowing you have to come back to help.”
For more information on medical school at WVU, visit medicine.hsc.wvu.edu.