NEWS | June 23, 2011

Third-year student wins Virginia Toombs, M.D. Memorial Scholarship


Liz Fierro, a third-year student at the UC Davis School of Medicine, is the 2010-11 recipient of the Virginia Toombs, M.D. Memorial Scholarship.

As the recipient of the scholarship, Fierro will receive $4,000 toward reducing her medical school loan.

The scholarship was created in 2000 in honor of Virginia "Ginny" Toombs, a 1982 graduate of the UC Davis School of Medicine, to assist UC Davis medical students who are single mothers with financial need. The primary purpose of the fund is to help cover the cost of fees and tuition. While attending medical school, Toombs raised her young son as a single mother. She took pride in the dual achievement of becoming a medical doctor and raising her son, Cameron, to be a fine young man.

Fierro, 32, is the mother of two daughters. When she had her first daughter, Alicia, at the age of 22, Fierro was completing her undergraduate degree at UC Davis and had been accepted into the master's program at UC Davis to study Latin American literature. After receiving her master's degree, Fierro and Alicia moved to her home in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she obtained a high school teaching credential in Spanish. Her second daughter, Natalie, was born in 2005.

After she gave birth to Natalie, Fierro stayed at home for a year and a half. During that period, Fierro decided to become a physician and returned to school to fulfill the prerequisites needed to apply to medical school. Both of her daughters are enrolled at Montgomery Elementary School in Davis, where Alicia is a sixth grader and Natalie is in the first grade.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at