2024 Tillman Scholar

Katrina Nietsch

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

“The military taught me to put my team before myself, and to relentlessly invest in people. As a doctor, I will dedicate my practice to the future of my patients.”

Katrina served in the Navy for 11 years before trading in her flight suit for a white coat. She is currently a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. A native of New Canaan, Connecticut, she was drawn to a life of purpose from a young age. Her pivotal moment came with the fallout of 9/11, propelling her into the military. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2011 with a degree in Quantitative Economics. 

Following in her grandfather’s footsteps, she served as a Navy pilot and deployed on aircraft carriers worldwide. It was during a transformative MEDEVAC mission, caring for a critically-ill patient, that she discovered her calling to medicine. As she transitioned from military life, Katrina was struck by the systemic challenges uniquely impacting the health of women veterans. This ignited efforts to elucidate barriers to high-quality healthcare, particularly in the realm of fertility care, an area where accessibility remains a pressing issue. She centered her research endeavors around understanding trends among this fast-growing demographic. 

Katrina is equally committed to empowering women in medicine. She serves as an advocate for supporting medical trainees who wish to build a family of their own. Beyond academic pursuits, Katrina dedicates her time to volunteering with the Mount Sinai Human Rights Program and mentoring veteran applicants to medical school in partnership with the non-profit organization Service to School. She also advises applicants to the Naval Academy, furthering a legacy of service to others.