2024 Tillman Scholar

Pierce Ferriter

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

“In bomb disposal, our hands are vulnerable yet pivotal to saving life. Drawn to the art of surgery, I aim to mend the hands of those shaping our free world.”

Born and raised in New York City, Pierce has since spent the majority of his life away from the world’s capital, instead exploring its farthest corners. He chose the Navy as a vehicle for creating positive impact abroad, earning a coveted spot in the Navy Special Operations community of Explosive Ordnance Disposal. 

During a deployment supporting an Army Special Forces detachment, a helicopter crash brought Pierce face to face with an urgent crisis that endangered the life and limb of some of his closest teammates and brothers in arms. Several critically wounded soldiers and sailors were evacuated to the closest hospital where he witnessed first hand trauma teams and surgeons in action as they coolly triaged a chaotic mass casualty event and stabilized each injured operator. This one moment changed the trajectory of his life forever after. 

Pierce’s decade of military service overseas has opened his eyes, mind, and heart to more life than he ever expected to live. The experience also revealed to him how disease and injury asymmetrically affect those who rely on their hands for a living. With this in mind, Pierce began his medical education journey back home in NYC at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he has dedicated his clinical and research efforts to surgical practices abroad, hand surgery, and peripheral nerve repair.