From the White Coat to the White House: A University of Utah health doctor joins a prestigious fellowship program


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Julie Pine

Associate Director, Science Communication, University of Utah Health
Phone: 801-587-1293

September 14, 2022 3:00 p.m

Jeffrey Nadel, MD, MS, neurosurgical resident at University of Utah Health, has worked across the biomedical spectrum—from cellular translational brain research in the laboratory to clinical and health services research, global public health, and health economics and policy.

But this fall, he’ll hang up his white coat and instead don a pressed suit in Washington, D.C., for the next year, serving as one of 15 individuals named by President Joe Biden to the 2022-2023 White House Class of Fellows. .

“I am truly humbled by the opportunity to serve as a White House Fellow,” Nadel said. I look forward to a year of growth in public service while gaining invaluable leadership experience at the highest levels of federal government.

Established in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the White House Fellowship is a nonpartisan leadership development program that provides valuable work experience to White House staff, Cabinet secretaries, and other senior government officials.

Although the primary objective is to gain experience working full-time at the highest levels of the federal government, the fellowship has a highly educational and educational aspect, with twice-weekly formal seminars with leaders from across the country. Fellows embark on domestic and international trips to study American policy in action.

For nearly six decades, colleagues from a variety of disciplines have used their diverse backgrounds to enrich the research and development of public policy. While many health care professionals serve, that team includes only four other neurosurgeons, including Sanjay K. Gupta, MD, chief medical correspondent for CNN.

A native of Centennial, Colorado, Nadle earned his BA in Latin American Studies and Biochemistry from Colorado College as a Boettcher Scholar in Neuroscience. He graduated from the University of Michigan with MD and MS with academic honors and Dean’s Outstanding Scholar in Research. Prior to commencing residency in 2019, he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanities Honor Societies.

University of Utah Health Neurosurgery Resident and White House Fellow, Jeffrey Nadel, MD.
University of Utah Health Neurosurgery Resident and White House Fellow, Jeffrey Nadle, MD Photo Credit: Vance Mortimer

Nadel is in the fourth year of his residency—typically devoted to academic research—at Washington, D.C. Nadel credits William Chaulwell, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Randy Jensen, MD, Ph.D., vice chair for education and former director of the residency program at University of Utah Health Goals.

“Jeff is a highly regarded and respected member of our residency program, so it was no surprise to our team that he was chosen for this great opportunity as a White House Fellow,” Jensen said. “We know he will represent us well in this outstanding role as a leader in health care policy and future reform.”

Nadel chose to pursue his training at the University of Utah, believing it would set him apart from others in the field. Note that the camaraderie among the resident classes provides a great community to work and train in. Meanwhile, the breadth and depth of clinical and research experience allows residents to find their neurosurgery home.

Nadel’s research focuses on eliminating health care disparities and creating a strong social infrastructure to ensure equitable access. He has led domestic and international health interventions for vulnerable populations in the US, Uganda and Costa Rica.

“I will serve as a White House Fellow at the Department of Veterans Affairs, supporting both the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of Health in our mission to provide better and faster access to high-quality health care for all who have fought for our nation’s freedom,” Nadle said.

In the year On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, he was officially selected after a year-long application process and several rounds of interviews. Nadel is scrubbing a surgical case when the nurse tells her to call from the 202 area code in Washington, DC.

“As someone who is blind, the news took my breath away,” Nadel said. “What a great opportunity. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

This won’t be the first time Nadel has met with politicians or lived in Washington, D.C. Before medical school, Nadel worked as a health economics and policy researcher at the Brookings Institution, where he honed his interests in health care finance and policy. He has served as a fellow at the NIH Academy on Health Disparities, where he has applied experience and advocacy for health equity and social justice. Currently, Nadle serves on the Utah Medical Association’s Legislative Affairs Committee in addition to handling the residency’s physical and mental needs.

Public service has long been central to Nadel’s vision of medicine, and he sees this fellowship opportunity as another step toward his goal of increasing health care equity.

“As physicians, we have a unique opportunity not only to work at the bedside, but to advance the principles of health care access and equity through academic and civic engagement,” Nadel says. “If anything, working in healthcare during a global pandemic has taught me that no one should sit on the sidelines. Through the collaborative and multidisciplinary training of the White House Fellowship, I aim to enhance my leadership skills and serve our community and nation now and in the future.

Learn more about it 2022-2023 White House Fellows Class.

– Written by Kamryn Broschinsky


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