Dr. Cohra Mankey: Vernie Stembridge Scholarship Award in Pathology

It was her admiration for her grandfather, an internist, that started Dr. Cohra Mankey on the road to medicine.

"I thought that he knew everything," said Dr. Mankey, the recipient of the 2005 Vernie Stembridge Scholarship Award in Pathology. "He was saving people, and I wanted to do the same thing."

That road has taken turns, including a bachelor's degree summa cum laude in German at Boston University. But in the end, according to Dr. Mankey, "I came back because medicine is the best combination of problem solving and community service."

Dr. Cohra Mankey

The Vernie Stembridge Scholarship Award in Pathology recognizes a student who has excelled in the study of pathology. The award honors Dr. Vernie Stembridge, the former chairman of pathology at UT Southwestern, who died in 2000. 

The award was initially established in 1974, and five years later, an endowment was set up with the Southwestern Medical Foundation by Dr. Stembridge's friends, family and colleagues to support the award. Dr. Mankey will receive $1,500 as part of the award.

Dr. Mankey's academic strengths have been rewarded well. She was also named a member of Phi Beta Kappa at Boston University and a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society.

"Cohra performed exceedingly well in her sophomore pathology course with a near-perfect final score," said Dr. Ramiah Subramanian, professor of pathology and course director. "She seems inclined to pursue a career in academic pathology, the road 'less traveled,' but one, if chosen by her, would delight us tremendously. I am confident that Cohra will do very well as a pathologist."

Dr. Mankey's residency in pathology will be at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

"Pathology is a good fit for me, because pathologists get to problem-solve and come up with the diagnosis," Dr. Mankey said. "When you look at a specimen, you can really get to 'see' the disease and the disease process, and this, for me, is much more satisfying than having it handed to you on a piece of paper."

She is considering subspecializing in surgical pathology or hematopathology.

"Cohra is as a quick learner, with an excellent fund of knowledge that exceeded that of many first year residents," said Dr. Steven Kroft, associate professor of pathology. "It is evident even at this early point in her career that she has a good eye for pathology."

Said Dr. Mankey: "Starting your residency is a little frightening because you haven't had a ton of experience in the field that you've chosen up to that point. The award is really great because your professors and colleagues acknowledge that you're doing a great job."