A trailblazer doesn’t just develop something new—a trailblazer prepares the way for others to follow.
Deirdre Buckley MD, UMass Chan Medical School graduate in the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health Class of 2022, is the recipient of the 2nd Annual Trailblazer Award. (Photo: Deirdre Buckley MD at her UMass Chan Medical School graduation in June 2022)
"What does it mean to be a trailblazer in a group of leaders, advocates, and independent thinkers?" asked her learning community mentor Eric Churchill MD when presenting Dr. Buckley's award.
"A trailblazer is more than a leader," he added. "They build something that benefits fellow students and their community even after they’ve gone."
"Deirdre is an advocate par exemplar."
So said her classmate Iha Kaul MD in her nomination of Buckley.
A future OBGYN, Dr. Buckley worked to develop research opportunities in women's health and opioid abuse at UMass Chan-Baystate.
She worked with other interested students to create additional opportunities —including with Planned Parenthood—for students doing rotations in Springfield. And, she hosted events to support the PURCH curriculum's emphasis on social and structural determinants of health.
Buckley also led Med Students for Choice and the OBGYN interest group at the main UMass Chan Medical School campus.
Buckley is the first individual recipient of the Trailblazer Award—the first Trailblazer Award was given in 2021 to all members of PURCH's inaugural cohort for their role as co-creators of the PURCH track.
Dr. Buckley acknowledges the support of her PURCH classmates in helping her to continually learn and improve.
"They have been right alongside me in this work as co-leaders, collaborators, and the best of friends. They are inspirational and the conversations I have had with them across four years have been instrumental in shaping my perspectives on health, community, equity, and the role of medical professionals in advocating alongside our patients."
"I can’t wait to see how they make positive impacts wherever they go next.”
Dr. Buckley's award was announced at a pre-graduation celebration on June 4, 2022. She will receive a compass engraved with "Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go."
Buckley will serve her Obstetrics/Gynecology residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA.
About the Trailblazer Award
The Trailblazer Award was initiated in 2021 to recognize graduating PURCH students who epitomize the following characteristics through their actions and/or the trail they have blazed.
- Personal qualities of strength, courage, and resilience
- Relentless in their pursuits while also embracing—and learning from—failures or setbacks
- Carve new paths towards success for themselves and others and, in so doing, uphold the PURCH principles through inclusivity, humility, and excellence.
More about the PURCH Class of 2022...
> PURCH Class Of 2022 Graduates From UMass Chan Medical School
> Incoming Resident Molly Ingemi Receives Baystate's Inaugural Anthony P. Lovell Award For Excellence
> PURCH Class Of 2022 Celebrates Successful Match Day
> Graduating PURCH Medical Students Present 4-Year Capstone Projects
> Nine PURCH Students Inducted into Gold Humanism Honor Society