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Incoming MC Student Earns Memorial Scholarship from Statewide Family Physicians Organization

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One of the state’s largest foundations in support of family medicine education and training has awarded a scholarship to an incoming Mississippi College student to assist in his pursuit of a career in medicine.

The Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians Foundation has selected Caden Ball of Olive Branch to receive the David G. Hall, M.D., Memorial Scholarship. A May 2023 graduate of Northpoint Christian School, where he earned the Honors Biology Award and was on the Honor Roll from 2019-22, Ball was named Who’s Who Most Talented 2022 and won the Bandmasters Championship in 2019-20.

Ball, whose father and grandfather are both family medicine physicians, said he is seeking to become a dietitian or nutritionist to help individuals maintain healthy lifestyles.

“It is a great honor to have been chosen by the MAFP as the scholarship winner because it further validates my decision to pursue a career in the sciences,” Ball said.

The scholarship is presented annually by the foundation to a high school senior who possesses an aptitude in the sciences and shows an interest in pursuing a career in the field of medicine. To qualify, students must write an essay describing the impact of a family physician in their lives and/or the role of the family physician in the community.

Ball wrote his winning essay about the selflessness of doctors and the medical legacy left by his father and grandfather.

“I have seen firsthand how a family physician impacts those in the community,” Ball wrote. “For my grandfather and my father, their purpose was not about the number of patients they saw on any given day, but how they invested positively in each person, so their lives were changed.

“Because of the impact I have seen in the community around me, I also want to move into a medical career. I want to influence the lives of those around me with the medical care I have seen my father and grandfather give. Legacy is about valuing and treasuring those things that have been handed down to you. I will always value and treasure the way I have seen positive impact through excellent medical care.”

Ball’s love for the sciences began at an early age and was influenced by his father.

“Through walking alongside him in his studies, I figured out that I took an interest in how intricately God was able to create the human body,” Ball said. “This love was further cultivated by my high school science teachers, who taught me that memorizing a heap of information was not the best I could do.

“I was pushed more than ever in the academic field on how to understand the deeper questions behind scientific reasonings. Through a culmination of all of these factors, my love for science grew to new heights, and now I’m very interested in how I can make a career out of my curiosity.”

While searching for a college, Ball said his priority was finding an environment where he could reach his greatest potential. Mississippi College fit the bill.

“As soon as I stepped foot on the MC campus, I immediately recognized that it would be the perfect fit for my goals,” he said. “I was pulled in by the accepting and loving environment of students and faculty. I realized that the faculty, like family, actually take an interest in the personal lives of their students and want to see them succeed in life.

“Also, the core of everything at MC is based around Christian values and beliefs, which I believe to be very important.”

The $1,000 scholarship is named in honor of a dedicated and beloved Natchez physician who died unexpectedly in 2001. Dr. David G. Hall had practiced family medicine in Adams County for more than a decade. A state delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians, he was active in the Mississippi Medical Association and served as treasurer for the Mississippi Foundation for Medical Care.

Ball said the scholarship means much more to him than the financial reward.

“It means getting to share the legacy that my father and grandfather have made in the scientific field, touching the lives of so many in local communities,” said Ball, who wants to enroll in the Physicians Assistant Program upon graduation. “I hope to leave a legacy through my service to the school and community around MC. I hope I am able to gain life skills and information that will prepare me for my future career. And I hope I am able to walk alongside people in their faith as well as grow in my own faith and develop a stronger bond with the Savior.

“I am confident that MC will provide me with the education and life skills in my subject field that will not only help me to be proficient in my profession, but will ultimately help me to be a light of Christ to others in my profession.”

The Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians Foundation uses its resources to cultivate current and future physician leaders in the state by providing scholarship opportunities for high school, college, and medical students and residents. The MAFP has approximately 1,400 members consisting of physicians, residents, and medical students.

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