Merrill Scholar: Eric Toone

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Eric Toone, Nantes '05-'06

Recent Merrill Scholar graduates are embarking on what are sure to be successful roads. And they already have positive messages to share. One such individual is Eric Toone, a Morehouse College graduate now in medical school at Columbia University in New York City. His Merrill Scholarship was applied to the IES Abroad program in Nantes, France, in 2005-06.

Toone went to Nantes to learn French, a language he says will help him with the public health work he’d like to do with the African French-speaking population. “Language barriers are huge issues between physicians and patients,” says Toone. “I see it as another disadvantage minority patients face in the health care system, and it strikes me as a major component of disparity in health status. I’d like to work to change that.”

Regarding Mr. Merrill, Toone says, “I formed an emotional connection with the scholarship and Mr. Merrill once I learned of his real-life experiences that opened his mind and heart and made him dedicate himself to reaching out to people less fortunate.”

To Mr. Merrill, Toone says, “Thank you--not only for what you did for me, but everybody you’ve reached out to, and for your dedication to people faced with adversity.”