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Jeffrey Nadel ’12

Student at University of Michigan Medical School, Starting in Fall 2014

Neuroscience Major
Latin American Studies and Chemistry Minors

While in my first year of research at the National Institute of Mental Health, I was selected to be a Fellow of the NIH Academy of Health Disparities — a program that trains future physicians and scientists on the importance of socioeconomic, geographic, cultural, genetic, environmental factors on health, and why health disparities exist between demographic groups. My big interest is in health disparities and improving community health, so this was a great opportunity. Throughout the NIH Academy program, I realized that many health disparities are engendered by poorly designed social policies in certain communities. This brought about my interest in understanding how good and bad health policies are developed, and how policy work can be used as a tool to ameliorate health disparities.

To further explore that idea, in July 2013, I transitioned away from NIH and into full-time work as a health policy researcher at The Brookings Institution, specifically within their Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. At the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, I've worked on a team investigating new ways to restructure the health care delivery and payment systems to move us toward a model that rewards value-based, high-quality care. Much of this work has been in reforming Medicare, but I've also done work across the system at large. 

I am just about to leave Brookings — only about a month left. I was recently offered a Dean’s Scholarship to attend the University of Michigan Medical School, starting in Fall 2014. The award is a five-year, full tuition scholarship that covers tuition for all four years of medical school plus a fifth year if I am interested in obtaining a dual master’s degree (MBA, MPH, MPP, etc) of my choosing. It also involves participation in a health care leadership and development program. I couldn't be more excited to take this next step!

Future aspirations?

"Following my one- to two-year fellowship at the NIH, I hope to matriculate into a combined M.D.-Ph.D. program, with my Ph.D. training in public health, in hopes of ultimately working to improve quality and access to mental health services for underserved and underrepresented communities. I envision that providing mental health care in disadvantaged areas will improve longitudinal community health and reduce health disparities. It will also hopefully create a more dynamic and productive workforce, thereby improving community economic prospects and downstream health outcomes."

Benefits of the CC experience?

"I absolutely feel that my CC experience has shaped my outlook on the professional world, and how I hope to fit in it. To begin, the Block Plan truly trains us to tackle problems efficiently. During my first summer at NIH — the summer after my sophomore year at CC — I was presented with an idea for a research study, and was asked to conduct background literature reviews and develop a scientific protocol for how I would carry out the work. The hope was for me to finish those two tasks during the first summer, and then conduct the study in subsequent summers. Attributable to my CC education and the skills the Block Plan fosters, I completed the literature review and protocol development within the first month of the summer, and completed the entire study during those three months. I do believe that CC instills in students both the knowledge and the skill-set to be successful in a professional workplace.