First-year TCOM student wins inaugural ethics essay award

Linh Vo, a first-year TCOM student, won the first annual Nicholas and Anna Ricco Ethics Essay Award at the UNT Health Science Center.

Vo received the $1,000 award for her essay that examined physicians’ duty to give patients full and complete information about their treatment options rather than the physician independently selecting his or her preferred option.

"We have to remember that patients are vulnerable when they come to see us," Vo said. "It is not our place to make decisions for them."

The award was made possible by a generous endowment gift from Nicholas and Anna Ricco of Carrolton. While this was the first such award created at the Health Science Center, the Riccos have established similar awards in 13 other programs at the University of North Texas.

Essays were submitted by first-year students from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and the School of Health Professions.

Nicholas Ricco was impressed by all the students who participated. Ethics is a particularly important subject for young people entering the medical field, where the mantra, is "First, do no harm," he said.

"It was a thrill to have these bright, young people giving ethics a great deal of thought," Ricco said. "That is why we enjoy doing this."

Roy Martin, DMin, assistant professor in the Department of Medical Education, said, "The Riccos’ inaugural gift is received with gratitude for their thoughtful generosity.  It will help us fulfill our mission of training professionals who contribute to a healthier community."

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