A generous gift from a Cleveland Clinic alumnus and his wife will provide endowed scholarships to qualifying Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine students.
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“We are deeply grateful to Dr. Geoffrey and Susan Lefferts for their vision in establishing the W. Geoffrey Lefferts MD and Susan H. Lefferts BSN, JD Endowed Scholarship at the Lerner College of Medicine,” says Bud Isaacson, MD (Staff’93), Professor of Medicine and Executive Dean of CCLCM. “Absent the worry about medical school loans, which can be burdensome, our students can focus solely on their education and choose a medical career that suits both their interest and skill, rather than one that promises the highest paying salary.”
Dr. Lefferts is a Cleveland Clinic alumnus (IM73) and retired staff internal medicine. Susan Lefferts is a former RN and retired attorney. Their gift is in honor of Dr. Lefferts’ parents, William L. and Beatrice Lefferts, who funded his education through medical school.
Dr. Lefferts grew up in Towanda, Pennsylvania, where his father owned a hardware and appliance business and his mother was a successful homemaker. “One of their life goals was to provide college educations for their children, and they started saving early. I am so grateful for that.”
Dr. Lefferts recalls that when he attended college and medical school the tuition was $2,000 to $3,000 a year. “My entire education cost about as much as one semester at the Lerner College today. Scholarships are even more necessary today.”
Dr. Lefferts was an Internal Medicine resident at Cleveland Clinic from 1970 through 1973. He then returned for a staff position in Primary Care/Internal Medicine until retirement in 2013, followed by five more years as a contract physician, until 2019. He recalls Cleveland Clinic as a “wonderful place to be a resident because active patient care and active education of involved caregivers were inseparably mixed. Each made the other better, every day.” He says his deep interest in learning contin¬ued throughout his career. Later, when the Lerner College of Medicine opened in 2004, he was faculty for Physical Diagnosis from the first year, for Problem Based Learning courses for eight years, and on the Admissions Committee for five years.
Susan Lefferts was an RN at Cleveland Clinic while studying for her law degree at Cleveland State University. Her legal career at three law firms focused on health care law, medical malpractice, and personal injury defense. She retired in 2010.
Dr. Lefferts says he hopes that through this example, students will learn another lesson, the importance of philanthropy. “We hope that recipients of the scholarship will, when the time comes, carry on the tradition of educational support for future generations.”