Medical student wins $10,000 scholarship |

Medical student wins $10,000 scholarship

by Sheila Gardner

Rebecca Rippee Papez, a 1999 graduate of Douglas High School, was awarded a $10,000 Carson-Tahoe Hospital scholarship for her studies at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

Papez, 23, is in her second year of the four-year program.

The scholarship committee chose her from five applicants who were graduates of Douglas, Carson City or Lyon County high schools.

“Rebecca’s qualifications were exemplary,” said Cathy Dinauer, scholarship committee chairman and chief nursing officer for Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

“I was shocked,” Papez said.

She is facing more than five years of school and residency before she completes her studies.

“I know it’s all a process. Each step gets you to the next one,” she said. “With the amount of knowledge required, it takes you that long to learn everything.”

Papez said she hopes to return to Carson Valley as a specialist in pediatrics or family medicine.

“I want to come back to Gardnerville eventually,” she said. “I am very close to my family and having their support makes it wonderful.”

She and her husband, Luke Papez, live in Reno. He owns a computer business.

She said she felt prepared for the rigors of medical school having grown up in Carson Valley.

“I could go on and on about the teachers at Douglas High School,” she said. “They taught us exactly what to expect in college and really pushed us hard to get there. You had that drive in you.”

The hospital implemented the scholarship to assist eligible students with the cost of medical school. The first scholarship was awarded in 2003 to Skyler Green, a 1998 Carson High School graduate.

“We are proud to offer this scholarship to local kids,” Dinauer said. “After they complete their education it is our hope they’ll consider serving the Carson-Tahoe community but there are absolutely no strings attached to the $10,000.”

School officials told the committee that Carson-Tahoe Hospital is the only hospital in the region that provides that type of scholarship, Dinauer said.

— Sheila Gardner can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 214.