MAYWOOD, Ill. -- For the second year in a row, a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine student has won a Pisacano Scholarship, the most prestigious scholarship in family medicine.
Fourth-year Stritch student Nathan Kittle is one of five students in the nation to win the 2011 Pisacano Scholarship. Last year, Stritch student Mark Stoltenberg also was named a Pisacano Scholar.
Five Stritch students have been named Pisacano Scholars since the award was established in 1993. Only three other medical schools have had five or more Pisacano Scholars.
The scholarship, valued at up to $28,000, is awarded to medical students going into family medicine. It goes to students who demonstrate leadership skills, superior academic achievement, strong communication skills, character, integrity and community service.
Kittle, 26, of Surprise, Az., plans to be a family physician serving developing nations and underserved communities in the United States. He now is spending a year at a medical clinic in Bolivia, providing primary care and assisting with public health projects. He has volunteered at a clinic in Guatemala and performed public health research in Ghana. Kittle also has completed extensive community service and public health research in the Chicago area, for which he was awarded a 2009-2010 Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.
"To me, choosing a career in family medicine was never really a choice, but rather a natural extension of who I am," Kittle wrote on his Pisacano Scholarship application. "The specialty of family medicine values the richness and the diversity of the human being by compassionately caring for patients of all shapes, sizes, ages and cultures."
Kittle's role model is Dr. Matt Prihoda, a family physician in Washington, Ia., a farming community where Kittle grew up. In his application, Kittle wrote that Prihoda helped him define family medicine "as a specialty that cares for a community, not just its sick; a specialty that cares for the entire person, not just their acute or chronic illness."
Family medicine, Kittle added, teaches and enables patients to "create lasting changes in their health, not just provide a 'quick fix.'"
Kittle's mentor, Dr. Eva Bading, said Kittle is extremely motivated and organized, and displays excellent communication skills and initiative.
"Nathan also is a natural leader," Bading said. "He is a very low-key, humble guy. He convinces people through his thoughtfulness." Bading is chair of the Department of Family Medicine.
The Pisacano Leadership Foundation was created by the American Board of Family Medicine. It is named after Dr. Nicholas Pisacano, founder and first executive director of the family medicine board.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.