2019 Tillman Scholar

Ethan Allison

University of Oklahoma

“As a future physician, I want to initiate dynamic health changes at the community level through outreach, education and improved access.”

During his freshman year of college at the University of Oklahoma, Ethan witnessed the inception of war in Iraq and felt called to place his own pre-med ambitions on hold so that he could better serve his country. Driven by relentless internal motivation, a desire to support the oppressed, and by a reluctance to let others fight in his place, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2005 and continued on to become a Special Forces medic.

Over the course of nearly 14 years of service and six combat deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Levant, Ethan witnessed firsthand the strife created by war and the subsequent medical disparities forced upon already underserved populations within the Middle East. He quickly realized that ideological battles, regardless of geography, were often secondary to economic instability, a lack of educational framework, and an inability to receive competent local medical care. Following a series of mass casualty events, he rededicated his life to the pursuit of medical knowledge, finished his bachelor’s degree, and left active duty to attend medical school.

As a future physician, Ethan hopes to incorporate past practical applications with newfound clinical knowledge in an effort to treat not just individual patients, but to initiate dynamic health changes at a community level through outreach, education, and improved access to healthcare. Regardless of the arena he operates in, whether third world or hometown, he is dedicated to serving those who lack the resources to empower themselves.