held amid the Flood of 1997 in Grand Forks, so the ceremony was moved to Fargo. Sandra was there with the rest of the family and remembers how Buck wasn’t upset about the change in venue. “He had that resiliency,” she said. “It was an extraordinarily happy time, and still he was like, ‘OK, I got this, now on to the next thing.’” He went on to a family medicine residency at UND in Fargo, where he earned praise from his physician instructors. “Buck’s medical knowledge is solid, but his real strength is his straightforward, common-sense approach to the patient’s problems,” according to one of his clinical performance evaluations. Sandra remembers her brother as having unwavering exuberance for life, regardless of the circumstances he found himself in. He wanted to experience every aspect of life, never resting on his laurels. His tireless energy and passion for helping people inspired those around him to be the best they could be. “People that met Buck did not forget him,” she said. “This scholarship is a continuation of Buck’s joy of life, his thirst for knowledge, and his passionate commitment to rural medicine.” Inspiring Future Medical Students After the accident, the Zahradka family— Shirley and her children Sandy, Bill, Dale, and Lonney—along with spouses, friends, and colleagues proudly created the Buck Zahradka Memorial Scholarship Endowment, which provides scholarships to first-year medical students at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Recipients of the scholarship must be motivated, hardworking, and dedicated students who share the high principles and potential for professional career success. In addition, Sandra said the family looks for students with down-home rural North Dakota spirit, a strong work ethic, and a thirst for knowledge, like Buck had. “People have different interpretations of success,” Sandra said. “Buck’s was to be the quintessential rural physician here in North Dakota. That’s who we want to receive his scholarship.” The first Buck Zahradka Memorial Scholarship was awarded during the 1999– 2000 school year. Three years ago, the use of a condo in Grand Forks was added. Students are now required to complete an application form through the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions to be considered for the scholarship. “Although the additional funds are always appreciated by students, having a place to live for a year has an even more lasting impact,” said Dr. Joycelyn Dorscher, associate dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. “It means fewer loans and that means less interest owed over the span of a medical education. This scholarship is an incredible gift that likely has its biggest impact when a recipient is looking for a practice site and doesn’t have the same pressures of loan repayment that they would have had if the scholarship had not been available.” The scholarship continues to support and encourage medical students who are walking the same path Buck once traveled. In that way, they keep Buck’s memory alive.
Where are they now? Recipients of the Buck Zahradka Memorial Scholarship are now representing numerous specialties across the United States. 2012–13: 2011–12: 2010–11: 2009–10: 2008–09:
Betsy Dickson, first-year medical student Thomas Grindberg, second-year medical student Paul Selid, third-year medical student Andrew Rodenburg, fourth-year medical student Michelle Reinholdt, completing OB-GYN residency, Rochester, Minn. 2007–08: Eric Ericson, completing radiology residency, Iowa City, Iowa 2006–07: Sara Mayer, completing neurology residency, Minneapolis, Minn. 2005–06: Derrick Cote, completing orthopedic surgery residency, Park City, Kans.
2004–05: Megan (Welsh) Strand, dermatologist, Bismarck, N.Dak. 2003–04: Jill (Detwiller) Klemin, family practitioner, Bismarck, N.Dak. 2002–03: Jon Solberg, U.S. Army captain practicing emergency medicine, El Paso, Texas 2001–02: Amy (Grimes) Juelson, pediatrician, Bismarck, N.Dak. 2000–01: JoEllen (Kohlman) Kohlman–Petrick, Fargo, N.Dak.; completed internal medicine residency in Minneapolis, Minn. 1999–2000: Megan (Muilenburg) Dixon, Minneapolis, Minn.; completed internal medicine residency in Charleston, S.C. NORTH DAKOTA MEDICINE Holiday 2012
North Dakota Medicine Holiday 2012