UC Santa Cruz student Saloni Gupta earns Sutter scholarship for medical school

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Saloni Gupta

Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center (SMSC), part of the Sutter Health network, has awarded the eleventh annual Primary Care Physician award to UC Santa Cruz student Saloni Gupta, who will graduate in December with a B.S. degree in human biology.

The annual award, a $10,000 scholarship, is administered by SMSC and the UCSC Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology to help carry out a mission to provide high-quality primary care to Central Coast Medi-Cal patients. The award supports a graduating UCSC senior who will be entering an accredited medical school, and the recipient must intend to return to the Central Coast to practice in primary care.

“Saloni has an outstanding academic background, and she has been contributing her time and skills to support important health initiatives in the community,” said Stephen Gray, SMSC chief administrative officer. “She is the ideal choice for this year’s primary care scholarship award, and we wish her well in her pursuits in medical school.”

Saloni was born and raised in San Mateo, California. She first became interested in medicine as a high school sophomore when she became a research assistant in a pediatric immunology lab at the Center for Clinical Sciences Research at Stanford University. Saloni continued her research on systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis throughout her undergraduate career.

She entered UC Santa Cruz as an undergraduate Regent’s Scholar in human biology. At UCSC, Saloni pursued research in social psychology, examining attitudes about gender, colorism, and arranged marriage in the South Asian diaspora.

Saloni has been involved with the Santa Cruz AIDS Project for the past two years, and she gives monthly educational presentations on harm reduction and safety at youth and adult recovery facilities. She also leads weekly mindfulness classes for clients who are HIV positive, giving them a way to decompress.

Saloni works part-time as a medical scribe in the emergency department of El Camino Hospital and has most recently taken a leadership role as a scribe trainer.

As a student at UC Santa Cruz, Saloni has earned quarterly Dean’s Academic Honors. She will graduate with honors in December 2017 and is planning to apply to medical schools in June 2018. As a physician, she hopes to return to Santa Cruz to practice primary care for Medi-Cal patients.