Lindale’s Savage receives medical residency assignment

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Lindale’s David Savage was one of more than 220, fourth-year students to recently receive their medical residency assignment from the McGovern Medical School from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, publicity officials said.

This graduation ceremony is called “Match Day’’ is coordinated by the National Resident Matching Program and pairs students with specialized residency training programs occurs concurrently at medical schools across the country.

Of the 221 members of the class, 112 (51 percent) will stay in Texas and 51 (23 percent) matched to McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. Forty-one percent (93) matched to primary care specialties, which are an acute area of need throughout the country, officials said.

Savage’s decision to become a cancer fighter was influenced by a computer science teacher at Austin College in Sherman.

“She was very excited when I decided to become a doctor,” said Savage, 33, who matched to Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “She kept in touch and wrote from time to time.”

That teacher is Shellene Kelley and she would later succumb to breast cancer. “That drove home the importance of the work we do,” he said.

Savage is one of only a handful of students at McGovern Medical School who are earning both a medical degree and a doctoral degree. Referred to as physician scientists or double docs, M.D./Ph.D. students are trained to treat patients and conduct high-level biomedical research.

His dissertation is on a novel drug treatment for a rare tumor in children. A volunteer in a refugee assistance program, Savage developed a TED talk on the challenges faced by people coming from Africa and Asia.

Asked what makes a good doctor, Savage said, “Someone who strives for excellence in caring for other people.”

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