D uring the medical training, Kevin worked in an ambulance and in an emergency room in Tampa, Florida. There, he was exposed to seeing the EMS crew in action and following through with physicians in the emergency room. “The second six months of the training deals a lot more with being a primary care provider,” he explains. “You’re learning more about diagnosis, doing different kinds of lab work and X-rays, and simple dental procedures.” Kevin helped deliver a baby and worked in a clinic in Fort Defiance, Arizona, part of the territory of the Navajo Nation. From there, he was deployed to Germany in 2010. Just after settling in, he got the call: “We are going to Afghanistan.” It’s an announcement that would spark anxiety in most people. Instead, Kevin felt excitement. “After you spend close to three years of training,” he says, “you want to actually start using that training.” Out in the field, under the relentless Afghanistan sun, Kevin encountered yet another set of heroes: military doctors. Needing to recertify as a medic, he worked in a hospital in Bagram and marveled at “the level of care the physicians were providing to people,” he says. It was in this new role that the die was cast for medical school. Kevin applied and was accepted to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where he sees the same high level of care every day. “What really stands out to me at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is the focus on patient-centered care and the commitment to helping improve the health of the local community,” Kevin says. “Last year, I was fortunate to be selected as a student volunteer at the Promise Clinic in New Brunswick, an entirely student-run clinic that aims to provide free primary care to the uninsured. Most of the clients are from Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick. I work in the clinic one night about every other month and will be honoring this commitment until I graduate.” Kevin, 36, grew up in Edison and shares that returning to his home state has been great and medical school more wonderful than expected. He was surprised by “how supportive the faculty has been,” he says. “As a Rutgers undergrad, it is such a big school, I didn’t have much interaction with the faculty. This is different at Robert Wood Johnson—they are an incredibly supportive faculty.” A ccording to Kevin Fitzpatrick, as rigorous as it can be, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School achieves a lovely bal- ance, offering the advantages of a major medical center and university, as well as the sort of individual touches that are usually hallmarks of smaller institutions. % Of course, it’s been strenuous, but Kevin is better prepared than most students. After all, he had already been through boot camp. “You have a lot of lectures that are large groups, but you also break up into small-group activities,” he says. “One of the main things about Rutgers is that there is a big focus on patientcentered medicine, so you have a class that is committed to that, a small class of 12 students. You get to know the teacher on a personal level and have a mentorship relationship.” Kevin is working on a project with another Robert Wood Johnson Medical School second-year-student who is a U.S. Navy veteran, Rick Lang. 6 Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE