Rutgers for Medical School Green Beret’s J✪urney Returns Him to any medical school students trace their calling to physicians who cared for them or their families. Kevin Fitzpatrick, a second-year student at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, was inspired by different kinds of heroes. After graduating from the Rutgers University School of Engineering in 2004, Kevin put his degree in electrical and computer engineering to use at Motorola, improving emergency communications systems for the New York Fire Department. The importance of those communications systems was stressed on August 14, 2003, when a blackout shut down electric power in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest. Kevin worked on a project to enhance coordination among first responders during emergencies. “If something like that happened again, they would be ready for it,” he says. Remembering the firefighters’ courageous work on September 11, 2001, and with the terrorist attack still reverberating, Kevin began thinking about another group of heroes. At 26, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2007. “When I joined the Army, I wasn’t yet thinking about becoming a physician,” he says, recalling the journey that ultimately took him to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “I was thinking of surviving the Army training and becoming a Green Beret.” It took almost three years from the day he enlisted until he donned the iconic green headgear. After basic training and then airborne school, “where you jump out of airplanes,” it was on to Special Forces selection, a series of demanding physical and mental trials on just a few hours of sleep a night. “There are a lot of opportunities to fail,” he says. But he endured and flourished. Among the specialized skills he acquired in training for guerrilla warfare was surviving alone in the wild. Kevin’s next goal—becoming a Green Beret medic—took another year. M B Y J A C Q U E L I N E C U T L E R % PORTRAITS BY JOHN EMERSON 4 Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE