Born in England and raised by a single mother with modest financial means, Amie Calimlim found her way to becoming a United States citizen and eventually was selected to be a member of the Class of 2019 at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
She epitomizes the term "self-starter."
Recently, Calimlim became the school’s first recipient of the Caroline Osborne Memorial Scholarship, which was established to honor the memory of a student in the school’s charter class. Caroline Osborne, a graduate of Virginia Tech, was diagnosed with cancer during her third year of medical school. She fought a courageous battle, but eventually succumbed to the disease in the fall of 2014.
Calimlim is the first person in her family to go to college, which makes the scholarship even more meaningful for her.
“Words cannot express how truly grateful I am to be given this award,” she said. “I want to honor Caroline by striving to be the best person and physician I can be.”
After arriving in the United States at the age of 19, Calimlim joined the U.S. Air Force, serving as an EMT. Through this experience, she became interested in going to medical school and counted those years as on-the-job training.
“I came in to medical school with a strong clinical background, which has really helped me contribute to the class and small group learning,” she said. “I’m also the most nontraditional student in my class.”
Calimlim is the proud mother of six-year-old twin boys, who live in Northern Virginia with their father while she is in school.
It’s definitely a sacrifice,” she said. “I have guilty mom moments, but I keep reminding myself, one day, this will be worth it.”
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine was Calimlim’s first choice when applying to medical school. While serving as a scribe in the emergency department at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, she was impressed by the third- and fourth-year students from the school who came through the department during their clerkship rotations.
“The VTC students were amazingly well-trained,” she said. “That left a positive impression on me. A lot of credit goes to the school and its curriculum for preparing future doctors.”
Calimlim is especially enthusiastic about the school’s patient-centered, small-group learning curriculum, calling it “the best part of the school.”
“I’m learning to talk my way through challenges and problem-solve with my peers, which is exactly what I’ll be doing as a physician one day.”
The school is one of the few in the country that utilizes this curriculum in which small groups of students learn from real patient cases and have a weekly wrap-up session with the patients they study.
This aspiring emergency medicine physician is also fascinated by infectious diseases, and obstetrics and gynecology.
“Although my interests are varied, I’ve always been drawn to helping people,” Calimlim said. “Basically, I just want to do the most amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the short time that I am here on this planet.”
The Caroline Osborne Memorial Scholarship was established by Carl and Ellen Osborne as a way of honoring their late daughter while recognizing a deserving student at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
“Caroline felt the school was very, very special,” Carl Osborne said. “Starting a scholarship in her memory was the one thing we could think of that would capture her spirit and what a special place this was for her. What she was unable to accomplish in life, the scholarship can help others achieve.”
For Calimlim, the scholarship will help offset some of the financial burdens of being a full-time student.
“I’m so grateful for this award,” she said. “It’s the first scholarship I’ve ever received. I hope to one day pay it forward.”