Post-Graduation Spotlight: Laura Sherwood Reflects on Prestigious Fellowship Experience

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College of Medicine graduate Dr. Laura Sherwood attended the 2016 Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics Medical program, which involves visiting sites significant to the Holocaust and discussing the medical ethics involved in those events, including relating those concerns to the medical ethics culture that faces today’s physicians. (Photo provided by: Dr. Laura Sherwood)

This past summer, College of Medicine graduate Laura Sherwood took advantage of a very prestigious opportunity. She was granted one of 14 fellowship slots in the 2016 Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics Medical program (FASPE), an international program with an applicant pool of around two hundred. The fellowship involves visiting sites significant to the Holocaust and discussing the medical ethics involved in those events, including relating those concerns to the medical ethics culture that faces today’s physicians.

“My work there culminated in a paper which discussed the historical influences on American culture regarding euthanasia,” said Dr. Sherwood. “My publications include a discussion of the benefits of a gluten-free diet on patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in American Family Physician, a case report of an abdominal aorta infected with Clostridium perfringens (a bacteria that causes food poisoning) and two poems in the Annals of Internal Medicine, among others.”

“We are so proud of Laura for winning the scholarship to attend the conference, said Susan Brewer, MD, FACP, associate dean of Student Affairs and Admissions and associate professor of Medicine in the UTHSC College of Medicine. “Many people competed for the scholarship and it was a big honor for Laura and the College of Medicine to have her participate.”

Dr. Sherwood was born on an Air Force base in Columbus, Mississippi, but grew up in Ooltewah, Tennessee – a little town just outside of Chattanooga. Her father, Allen, is a family physician, also a graduate of UTHSC (COM ’85), who completed his residency in Chattanooga and takes numerous overseas medical mission trips throughout the year.

Dr. Sherwood is a graduate of Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. During her time at UTHSC, Dr. Sherwood was involved in the Christian Medical and Dental Association, serving as a Bible study leader for the M1 Girls Class with a fellow classmate. She also taught a senior seminar course for science majors at Lee University.

“My decision to choose medicine was a personal one,” she said.  “It is my intention to utilize my medical skills in developing countries at the completion of my residency training. I believe in providing complete care to patients, which addresses body, soul, and spirit.”