Hillel awards Shirley Curson Medical Scholarship

Sophie Loeb

Sophie Loeb, a second-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, has a strong commitment to care for those in her own backyard.

Loeb is the 2017 recipient of the Shirley Curson Medical Scholarship from the UA Hillel Foundation.

The scholarship recognizes the commitment of a student, both prior to and during their first years of medical school, to Jewish values and community service.

“I take pride in my faith and believe so many of the values I possess as a human being come from my upbringing and being raised Jewish,” Loeb said. “One of the most important Jewish values to me is that of performing acts of loving kindness. As a physician, I hope to hold true to this and treat each patient with the intent of performing these acts.”

The merit-based scholarship helps fund Jewish second-year medical students attending the UA College of Medicine in Phoenix or Tucson.

“I am truly humbled to be the recipient of this scholarship,” Loeb said. “I’m so grateful to be able to represent my school and my Jewish community in this way.”

The scholarship applies to the student’s third and fourth years of medical school.

A committee selected Loeb “from among several qualified and exemplary candidates,” said Nancy Koff, a Hillel board member.

Loeb’s medical studies began with her desire to help others.

“My initial interest in becoming a physician didn’t stem from my love of science or the thrill of curing someone of a disease,” Loeb said. “Although I want to use medicine to improve upon the world, my personal desire comes from my innate love of children and my involvement in families’ lives. I want to be a part of peoples’ lives and help them help themselves through long-term relationships with patients and families.”

Prior to medical school, Loeb worked as an assistant teacher at a Jewish preschool and was a program supervisor for a camp at The Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center. As a medical student, she has continued to help others within the Phoenix and Jewish community by participating in Community Health Initiative – Phoenix programs such as the Juntos Por la Salud Mobile Health Unit, which provides access to health services and promotes a healthy lifestyle to underserved people in Maricopa County. She also serves as co-president of the College’s Jewish Medical Student Association, which focuses on bringing together Jewish medical students and faculty at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Loeb hopes to practice in Arizona at some point after her residency, but wherever she is,  she said, she’ll carry pride in her community with her.