David A. Zlotnick, MD '62, a first-generation American, came from the Bronx, New York, to Stanford University, where he completed medical school and pediatric residency with special interests in infectious disease, cardiology, and adolescent medicine. After serving in the Navy Medical Corps, he began private practice in Palo Alto, volunteering care to migrant workers in Gilroy and Salinas, while keeping his commitments as an active clinical associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He was an early leader for Interplast (now ReSurge) and with his wife, Caroline Dixon Zlotnick, RN, BA ‘62, formalized their pediatric reconstructive peri-operative care on many international missions. Undeterred by the sequelae of an astrocytoma discovered the week of his 49th birthday, he rehabilitated his clinical skills at the Stanford Pediatrics Clinic. Dr. Zlotnick returned to service in Navy and community clinics until his premature death in 2002.
Dr. and Mrs. Zlotnick created the David A. Zlotnick, MD Memorial Endowed Fund in the Department of Pediatrics to encourage, develop, and support the volunteerism of Stanford medical students interested in pediatrics, pediatric residents, and pediatric faculty members, with a preference for volunteerism in Central and South America. The Fund aims to provide Zlotnick Scholars with experience, understanding, and satisfaction for lifelong contribution and leadership in the interest of children’s health.
The Fund and its Scholars are a legacy to Dr. Zlotnick’s career in local, regional, trans-border, and international pediatric care and teaching, which began at Stanford and continued with his close affection for the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics.
The Fund will be used for medical students interested in pediatrics, pediatric residents, or pediatric faculty members participating in rotations at established sites such as the Cachamsi program in Ecuador for clinical and medical Spanish education or FASEH in Brazil (for residents and faculty only). Medical students interested in pediatrics and pediatric residents will be given preference. Applicants with long-standing relationships at other sites in Central and South America must receive approval to travel to these sites from the program. It is expected that participants will rotate in the children’s hospital and pediatric clinics in qualified and approved programs. Scholarships are available for a minimum of six-week rotations.
Stanford medical students interested in pediatrics, pediatric residents and pediatric faculty.
Travel expenses, accommodations, and food/board, to support the recipients volunteering their time and skills.
Funds are not to be used for salary backfill or other compensation to recipients.
Scholars will be selected from the pool of Mary Duke Biddle scholars each year. Application deadlines and information is available on the MDB program page.
2018 Scholar, Ben Lerman
Ben is a fourth-year medical student completing a dual degree MD/MS in Epidemiology and Clinical Research. Originally from southern California, he received his BA in biology from Stanford. His major clinical interests are pediatric cardiology and hematology-oncology, and his primary academic interests lie in clinical outcomes research, global health, and medical education.
His current research examines how clinicians can better predict post-operative mortality in heart failure patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery. He also works with the Digital Medical Education International Collaborative (Digital MEdIC), a Stanford-led platform using digital technology to improve medical education and health literacy in the developing world.
As he wrote in his application, Ben hopes to "gain a firsthand understanding of the fundamental health issues affecting children worldwide," from his rotation in Ecuador and "use that understanding to inform the ways in which I can contribute to pediatric global health from my position in the United States."
Ben will begin residency in pediatrics in July, 2019.
2017 Scholar, Jessie Liu
Jessie Liu was born in New York to two immigrant parents and spent a decade in the Midwest before moving to Southern California. She attended Stanford for undergraduate studies, where she was given opportunities to conduct research and do public health work in Peru, Guatemala, and Tanzania. To further immerse herself in Latin American culture, she worked in Ecuador for two years, first with a nonprofit in Quito and later conducting water, health, and sanitation research in the Galapagos. She returned to Stanford for medical school in 2011, where she worked with a local nonprofit to improve healthcare for farmworking families and took a couple years' leave of absence to help grow a nonprofit that teaches family members skills they need to care for a loved one with a medical condition.
Jessie enjoys being active outdoors, cooking with fresh produce, and doing any of the above with friends and family. She will be starting residency in family medicine at Contra Costa to pursue her goal to increase agency of individuals and communities to be their best, healthiest selves, through practicing as a family physician and designing solutions at scale.
2016 Scholar, Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin was born and raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from Stanford with a BA in Human Biology and returned to the Farm for her pediatric residency after completing medical school at UCSF. An active member of Chicanos/Latinos for Health Education and the Stanford/LPCH peds residency diversity committee, Martin is passionate about decreasing health disparities among children in the US and globally.
Although she has traveled widely and is fluent in Spanish, her rotation to Ecuador, enabled by the Zlotnick scholarship, was her first global health experience. In Ecuador, she had the opportunity to work in a public hospital, outpatient clinic, and with the indigenous community of Cacha. As she wrote in her application, "I hope this will be the first of many experiences in my career to care for children in underserved areas overseas."