2019 Tillman Scholar

Saul Bautista

Rutgers University

“I want to build a healthcare system that empowers people to be active stewards of their own health.”

Saul was raised in Newark, New Jersey. In the midst of two wars, he opted to forgo college and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2004. His experience working with wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is what inspired him to pursue medicine. Upon his return from military service, he went on to attain a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Rutgers University – Newark.

As an undergraduate, Saul witnessed how social factors—poverty, education, food insecurity, transportation and housing—impacted the health of people in his community. He felt compelled to explore solutions beyond the boundaries of the clinical setting.

As a first year medical student he founded the NJMS Lifestyle Medicine Group where he oversaw the implementation of numerous student fitness programs and community engaged health education/health promotion initiatives. He also became involved in a documentary film called “Code Blue: Redefining The Practice Of Medicine” which presents the clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as a solution to the chronic illness epidemic.

Saul is currently a dual-degree MD/MPH student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and will soon begin a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Prisma Health/University of South Carolina. Saul believes that medicine can be used as a vehicle for social change. His vision is to build a healthcare system that mitigates and prevents chronic disease by empowering people with the skills needed to be active stewards of their health and constructing communities that foster a culture of health by addressing lifestyle and social determinants of health.