2024 Tillman Scholar

Matthew Bryan

Harvard University

“All humans suffer; being a guide for someone in their darkest moment is the sine qua non of medical and surgical care.”

Influenced by family members who served society in the military, education, and healthcare, Matt always knew service would lie at the foundation of his career. This passion for service led him to West Point and to serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment as an Infantry Officer. Matt witnessed a shocking lack of healthcare services through deployments and overseas travels. 

Though his time overseas taught him about suffering, it taught him even more about cultural humility, empathy, and the universality of human health. Matt promised himself that he would return to those most in need around the world, though not to damage but rather to heal. Starting his medical journey at Harvard Medical School (HMS), he quickly found himself at the intersection of surgery and global health, passions he had developed during his years in the Army. In collaboration with orthopedic and general trauma surgeons, he assisted with research focused on global surgical education and developing global trauma systems. 

During the beginning of his third year at HMS, he traveled to Rwanda, providing general medical, gastroenterological, and surgical care to those in need, including directly assisting with hundreds of medical procedures. Through these experiences, Matt found that his true passion lies in service through healing. He plans on pursuing further training in orthopedic surgery upon graduation to use the lessons he learned in uniform to expand surgical systems in remote locations across the globe.