Quality & Science

2019 Ruth Fox Scholar Now Serves on Scholarship Selection Committee

by | July 29, 2021

Whenever he gets the chance, Benjamin Bearnot, MD, MPH, FASAM, tells medical students to apply for the Ruth Fox Scholarship.

Dr. Bearnot was selected as a recipient of the scholarship for ASAM’s 2019 meeting in Orlando, Florida – the society’s last in-person annual meeting. Two years later, he said he can see how the experience helped him grow as an addiction medicine specialist.

Dr. Bearnot “I'm really excited to be in the privileged position to pass on the good experience and opportunities that came my way from being a Ruth Fox scholar a couple of years ago,” said Dr. Bearnot, physician researcher in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

A friend of Dr. Bearnot’s who had received the scholarship years earlier himself encouraged him to apply to be a Ruth Fox scholar. At the time, Dr. Bearnot, who had finished an internal medicine primary care residency at Mass General Hospital in 2016, was in the final year of his research fellowship.

He said he’s grateful for the experiences the scholarship provided for him at the annual conference.

“It was, frankly, amazing to arrive at a big conference and have a bunch of different structured and unstructured opportunities to meet with really excellent trainees from all over the country with all sorts of different backgrounds,” Dr. Bearnot said. “Then also to have the opportunity to meet with and participate in sessions with senior folks who are part of ASAM. [ASAM members] really made a point to give us face time with them.”

He remembers sticking to a packed schedule, which helped him network with other addiction medicine specialists – and have a lot of fun at the same time.

“I think ASAM had three or four activities planned for us each day of the conference,” he said of ASAM National. “And then, in the evenings, we also met up as a group and went to Universal Studios and somewhere in downtown Orlando to hang out. The range of experiences was really impressive.”

Also at the meeting, Dr. Bearnot was able to meet with both ASAM’s president and secretary, which helped him become actively involved at ASAM.

“I think that [opportunity] translated pretty directly to my being asked to sit on some of the committees,” he said. “Soon after I was a Ruth Fox Scholar, I started sitting on the Continuing Medical Education Committee.”

Recently, Dr. Bearnot has been asked to sit on the Ruth Fox Scholarship Selection Committee. He said it’s an honor to be a part of the committee and he’s excited to help select the next scholarship recipients.

“I’m really committed to the importance of a diverse and resilient workforce,” Dr. Bearnot said. “There are a lot of people who are doing all sorts of interesting training in addiction all over the country.  I'm really looking forward to reading their application and, ultimately, meeting them in person at the next conference.”