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Dr. Tova Fuller: “Don’t be afraid to think big.”

April 14, 2011

See pictures from the Rx for Survival Conference here!

At this year’s student conference “Rx for Survival,” Dr. Tova Fuller was awarded the first Lown-Alexander-Sidel Award for excellence in medical advocacy. Dr. Fuller was recognized for her ability to inspire other medical students and her contributions to advancing PSR’s mission. She served as national representative for Student Physicians for Social Responsibility from 2006 to 2009 and was instrumental in expanding the student program in both membership and new chapters.  She holds a PhD in Computational Genetics and is currently attending UCLA’s joint MD/PhD program. Dr. Fuller also has a BS in Cybernetics and an MS in Biomedical Engineering. In addition to her studies, Dr. Fuller continues her PSR involvement through the Los Angeles chapter.

In accepting her award, Tova championed the students attending the conference to get up, get out and speak about preventing what we cannot cure.  She spoke of our personal responsibility to our future and our children’s future and the unique role physicians have in our society and urged the students:  “Don’t be afraid to think big!” 

As Jessie Duvall, co-president of SPSR, said in bestowing the award, “Tova believes anyone can be an advocate, that anyone can be a leader; all one needs is a commitment to affect positive change, and the stamina to persevere.”

Dr. Fuller’s advocacy work extends all around the globe. She was a participant at the Baltic Bike tour, hosted by the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, which traveled across Europe, advocating a nuclear-free Europe.  She was so determined to participate in the tour she even learned how to ride a bike for the first time.  She has also contributed to the development of the International Student Coalition Against Small Arms, a project created by students that are dedicated to the reduction of gun and small arms violence.

Through her commitment to advocacy, Tova has inspired many others, including Jessie Duvall whose own engagement in national SPSR began after being inspired by Tova at the last SPSR conference. Mohamed Geneid describes her as “…amazing, motivating, full of challenge.” Others such as Ruth Mitchell, board member at IPPNW, mention one of her many talents is “an uncanny gift of communicating well across cultures.”  After, speaking to her you leave thinking of the impossible as possible.

Young doctors determined to make a difference against powerful odds, using their hope for the future, their optimism and their vigor to change the world ... in 1961 and today.  When the doctors who created PSR met in 1961 to launch the physician-led movement that would change the world, almost all of them were young physicians in their twenties.

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