Woman With Passion for Improving Community Health Will Graduate
From U.Va. School of Medicine
10, 2000 -- Unsure whether it was by divine proclamation,
her mother's gentle nudging or a desire for the "magical" powers
exhibited by her pediatrician, Renata Gayle Arrington instinctively
knew she would practice medicine.
of the few African Americans from Albemarle County to graduate from
the University of Virginia School
of Medicine, Arrington, 26, will receive a medical degree on
May 21. While in medical school, she took time out to earn a master's
in public health.
before entering Stone Robinson Elementary School in Shadwell, Arrington
was planning to become a doctor. She grew up in a nurturing household,
the daughter of Brenda Arrington and the Rev. Angus Arrington III.
mother, who is an educator, tutored me over summers and provided
me with work books, counseling and academic planning to ensure my
academic success," Arrington said.
graduating from Albemarle High School in 1991, Arrington applied
for early admission to college and was accepted to Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore. "Hopkins was my first choice because the
school is well known for producing top-notch physicians in a competitive
environment," she said.
was emotionally unprepared for the move from small-town Charlottesville
to the large city of Baltimore, she recalls. But because of her
passion for helping people, she plunged into volunteer work. She
volunteered in Big Sisters programs, Habitat for Humanity and other
the spring of 1994, Arrington worked at the Abafemi Awolowo University
Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. She also volunteered at the Johns
Hopkins University School of Public Health by addressing the academic
and health needs of children in East Baltimore. She graduated from
Johns Hopkins University with a B.S. degree in natural science and
public health in 1995.
same year she entered U.Va.'s School of Medicine. Despite a demanding
academic schedule, she participated in a program for children with
cancer and in the HIV/AIDS awareness program for local high schools
students. She also volunteered at the Shelter for Help in Emergency
and Charlottesville Free Clinic.
the summer between her first and second years at U.Va., Arrington's
research related to HIV-positive patients was presented at U.Va.'s
strong interest in public health research led her to return to Johns
Hopkins to complete an 11-month program in public health between
her third and fourth years at U.Va. In May 1999, she returned to
Virginia armed with a master's degree in public health.
has made major contributions to the School of Medicine and the community
through her outstanding leadership in extracurricular activities,"
said Dr. Richard D. Pearson, associate dean of student affairs.
"She has the potential to make major contributions during her career,
given her excellent clinical skills, enthusiasm for medicine and
devotion to the health of patients and their communities.
graduation from medical school this summer, Arrington will begin
a four-year residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the
University of Cincinnati. She says that while she would like to
return to Charlottesville to practice medicine, she will "leave
that up to my Creator.
more information, Arrington can be reached at (804) 296-0008.
Katherine Jackson, (804) 924-3629