University of Vermont

Larner College of Medicine

Medical Student Education

End-of-Year Giving Helps the Physicians of Tomorrow: One Alumnus' Personal Message

Rees Midgley, M.D.'58 and Jane Wilson Coon, R.N., D.N.Sc.
Rees Midgley, M.D.'58 and Jane Wilson Coon, R.N., D.N.Sc. (Photo by UVM Medical Photography)

Rees Midgley, M.D., a member of the College of Medicine’s Class of 1958, could be forgiven for deciding to enjoy a comfortable, quiet retirement after decades of clinical practice.

Instead, Dr. Midgley is still going strong, guiding two companies, vCases and inDepthLearning, as they develop new technologies to help reduce medical errors and enhance caregiver competency.

Equally strong is Dr. Midgley’s connection with his medical alma mater, and his desire to help today’s medical students cope with the issue of increasing student loan debt. One important part of the solution is increasing scholarship funds to directly alleviate debt burden on students.

Dr. Midgley attended his 55th Medical Reunion this past June. While on campus, he had a chance to see firsthand the College’s innovative approach to medical education. Afterwards, he wrote in a letter to his classmates: “I can say this with confidence having worked most of my career at the University of Michigan, also ranked as having one of the most innovative and exceptional teaching programs in the country.  UVM's program is every bit its equal, and we can all be proud of our school.”

But Dr. Midgley also heard of the challenges debt places before students. “Most impressive for me was the discussion by six current students,” he wrote.  “They loved their choice of UVM…. But, when asked about their debts, we initially had silence.  Then, little by little it became obvious that most were either planning to enter a national service program or simply hope that they could eventually find a way to pay back their loans.  One student said her loans would be $290,000.  This made me reflect back on when we were in school:  our tuition and other expenses were high but on a relative scale, nothing like this.  We were exceptionally fortunate and now I feel it is time for all of us to help the school to offset tuition costs.” 

Dr. Midgley and his wife, Jane, have stepped forward this year to do just that. Their donation to the College of Medicine under the Medical Alumni Association matching scholarship program has resulted in an endowed scholarship fund that will aid medical students in perpetuity.

You can find out more about how your end-of-year giving can help increase scholarship funds by calling the Medical Development and Alumni Relations Office at (802) 656-4014, or by emailing