Feinberg Student Awarded National Scholarship for Outstanding Leadership in Healthcare
Blayne Amir Sayed aims to address challenges faced by medically underserved communities
Blayne Amir Sayed, an MD-PhD student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been awarded one of five Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Herbert W. Nickens Scholarships. The scholarships are presented annually to “outstanding students who have shown leadership in efforts to eliminate inequities in medical education and healthcare and demonstrated leadership efforts in addressing educational, societal and healthcare needs of minorities in the United States.”
“Blayne is deeply committed to eliminating healthcare disparities and social, racial, ethnic and religious intolerance,” wrote Raymond Curry, Dean for Education, Feinberg School of Medicine, in nominating Sayed. “He has gently, but firmly challenged the administration, faculty and students alike to live up to the high ethical and intellectual expectations he holds for himself.”
Sayed is enrolled in the school’s medical scientist training program (MSTP). He successfully defended his post doctorate thesis in microbiology-immunology this past summer and is now completing the clinical clerkships in the Doctor of Medicine curriculum. However, his contributions to the medical community extend well beyond the classroom or research lab. Beginning with his experience as a teenager working with Native American children at the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, Sayed has committed himself to a life of service addressing the challenges faced by medically underserved communities.
As a medical student, Sayed is noted for his advocacy for and education about diversity in the medical community. He is heavily involved in the Islamic Medical Association and serves as a liaison for Muslim patient care for the Chaplain’s office of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He also volunteers for the Inner City Muslim Action Network and is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East. At Feinberg, Sayed has taught two first-year medical student courses about healthcare disparities and has served as a member of the Executive Diversity Committee, the Curriculum Review Committee, the Committees of Admission for the Doctor of Medicine and MSTP programs and is one of the leaders of the University’s MLK-DREAM Committee. His laboratory research focuses on the role of central nervous system-associated mast cells in facilitating inflammatory cell entry into the brain in a model of multiple sclerosis.