2021 Tillman Scholar

Cody Bean

University of Colorado

As a future physician, I will be a custodian of health care equality. I will hold and inspire reverence for the patients that have been placed in our care.

In 2013, Cody was motivated by a single, simple, powerful idea—joining the military will provide an opportunity to play a small part in building a better world. It was in the U.S Navy where Cody received the best education they ever had, and where they learned the true meaning of diversity. In the Navy, Cody was inspired by invaluable mentors, heartwarming encounters with patients, and endless opportunities for learning in medicine. During this critical period of growth and inspiration, Cody also became acutely aware of the striking inequities in health and healthcare experienced by transgender and nonbinary (TNB) people.

After seven years of honorable service, Cody made the hard decision to leave the military and follow the voice inside them calling them in a new direction. In 2019, Cody began their new journey at Northwestern University while volunteering for LGBTQ+ organizations in the Chicago area. Passionate about giving back to the community that has given them so much, Cody now dedicates their time to eliminating healthcare disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ people through research, service, and advocacy.

Upon graduation, Cody aims to attend medical school. As a future physician, they are committed to drawing from lessons learned in the military to catalyze change by being a custodian for more TNB voices in healthcare, serving as representation for TNB patients, and providing culturally competent care to their community.