Bagby scholarship winner explores family medicine at Excela

Barak Marshall

An aspiring family physician, Barak Marshall is the recipient of this year’s Andrew D. Bagby Family Medicine Scholarship. He is participating in a month-long program this summer through the Excela Health Latrobe Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program in which he will gain inpatient and outpatient experience, in addition to exploring career options in primary care.

The Bagby Scholarship was established by family and friends in memory of first-year resident Dr. Andrew Bagby, who died tragically in November 2001. The scholarship fund has increased substantially in the 17 years the scholarship has been awarded. It is supported by the Bagby family, as well as private donors, to give opportunities to aspiring family medicine physicians. The scholarship is administered by the Latrobe Area Hospital Charitable Foundation.

Marshall completed his undergraduate studies at the Pennsylvania State University and will be entering his second year of medical school at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) this fall.

This latest experience keeps the Greensburg native close to home. His father is a chiropractor in Greensburg which intrigued Marshall, but he wanted to pursue a career that had more opportunities to expand within practice. Marshall applied for the scholarship after viewing the documentary “Dear Zachary” about Dr. Andrew Bagby’s life and untimely death. The documentary solidified his interest in the scholarship and the opportunity to pursue his career interest.

Marshall, 24, felt a calling to family medicine as a result of his experiences with EMS crews in State College, Greensburg and Latrobe where he worked as a certified EMT for nearly four years.

“When I first started working in EMS, I was thrown into a whole new world and I saw medicine for what it really was,” Marshall said. “I learned how to provide direct patient care, and how to engage with others professionally as it related to the healthcare setting. While all of the roles are critically important, I kept coming back to the role of physician for what I wanted to become.

“I saw the way the doctors conducted themselves in the hospital emergency department, their demeanor and tact, and I saw a heart that genuinely cared for those who couldn’t care for themselves. I want to know the patient; I want to be the one responsible for their care and to be the one they call upon in their time of need,” he added. “What an honor it is to be the one responsible for another person’s health, even if it’s for a short while. Without my EMS experience, I don’t know if I would feel the same way about becoming a doctor.”

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