A third generation immigrant, Nathaniel spent essentially all of his life in a small German village close to where his theologian grandfather founded a theological seminary. Nathaniel thrived in the German public school system which emphasizes a curriculum heavy in engineering and linguistics. This curriculum was the genesis for his passion for medicine, specifically international medicine. After finishing German high school, he attended Bryan College where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Spanish in conjunction with the Universidad de Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain. He put his fluency in Spanish to use during his nutritional research among Mayan women and infants in Guatemala.
During medical school, Nathaniel was the leader of the winning team at the University’s Global Health Case Competition and subsequently received the Innovation Award at the National Global Health Case Competition at Emory University. Through his medical school he was able to volunteer at an orphanage clinic in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honors Society for his exemplary patient care. Having traveled to six different countries on four different continents, he plans to stimulate development in underdeveloped communities through medicine and research.
Project: "Clinical Treatment and Management of Tuberculosis and Malaria in the Context of HIV Co-Infection"
October 1, 2014 - December 1, 2014
What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
Receiving the Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowship is humbling and inspiring. It serves as both confirmation and an impetus to my future career in tropical medicine. This opportunity is unique as it allows me to gain hands-on experience in tropical medicine, which would otherwise not be possible during medical school.
What do you anticipate learning?
During my fellowship I hope to gain experience in bridging the chasm between the high burden of disease and provision of excellent clinical care. This is a topic that I have thought and read about during my medical studies, but has remained theoretical; now, I look forward to expanding my education through learning in the field. In addition, I believe the fewer resources and technology will give me a chance to make diagnoses upon basic clinical data, exposing my own reliance upon the technology that I have come to depend on in U.S. hospitals. I hope this will challenge me to think inventively and expand my repertoire of clinical skills and experiences. I hope to learn how to understand patients in his or her cultural and social context. This will give me a better understanding of the causes of such a high burden of disease as well as a glimmer of approaches that bring sustainable change. Overall, I expect this fellowship will train me to become a culturally-aware clinician, a pioneering diagnostician, a humble care-giver and, ultimately, a world changer.
What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
My interest in tropical medicine starts with human suffering. Realizing the burden that tropical diseases place on entire communities and countries unsettles me. As a future healthcare provider, I feel compelled to contribute to the alleviation of this global burden. Additionally, I find great joy in working with people of a different culture and background. Bridging cultural and linguistic barriers is both challenging and invigorating, which further motivates me to continue investing in those that are different from me. My ultimate goal is to aid in the development of underdeveloped communities. I hope to be a part of creating a sustainable system that spans from medicine to agriculture to economics. A specific goal of mine is to train local medical students and professionals in the areas of primary and acute care.