Student Corner: Bhavika Kau

April 1, 2011

Bhavika Kaul
Bhavika Kaul
  • Second-year medical student
  • Received American Medical Association Foundation's 2011 Leadership Award

Bhavika Kaul hopes to pursue a career in public health advocacy, and has already received valuable experience in this area. The AMA Foundation's 2011 Leadership Award will help her further her goal by providing special training to develop skills as a future leader in organized medicine and community affairs.

The AMA Foundation honored 30 individuals with the award at its annual Excellence in Medicine Awards ceremony Feb. 8 in Washington D.C. Presented in association with Pfizer Inc, recipients of the award, which include medical students, residents/fellows and early career physicians, are recognized for demonstrating outstanding non-clinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service and education. Kaul is one of only 24 medical students in the nation to receive a leadership award.

The nonprofit AMA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the AMA and is committed to improving the health of Americans through support of quality programs in public health and medical education.

At Baylor, Kaul is part of the Underserved Communities Track, and she volunteers at the HOMES clinic, a multi-disciplinary, student-run free clinic for the homeless of Houston. She serves as a class officer and is a voting member of the medical school's admissions committee. Last year, as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, she established a rotating mobile clinic program in partnership with Catholic Charities and Texas Children's Hospital to bring health care to Burmese refugees in Houston.

As an undergraduate at Rice University, she conducted research at the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy and helped organize conferences on topics ranging from science education to global health. She has volunteered abroad extensively, working with refugees in India and, most recently, with disadvantaged children in Argentina as a Loewenstern Fellow. At Rice, she also served as an AMSA Global Health intern and helped organize the National Medical Student Lobby Day on the African Health Capacity Act and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

"As our nation continues to struggle with issues of access, disease prevention and disparities in care, encouraging the next generation of leaders is critical," said Dr. Barney R. Maynard, AMA Foundation president. "We need individuals like these award recipients who are taking the initiative to tackle health care's most difficult challenges."