Virginia Commonwealth University is a nationally top ranked medical school, and features the only Level 1 Trauma Center in Central Virginia. The university is also home to the only nationally ranked cancer provider in Richmond, VA.
“I am elated to announce this news,” he told Saipan Tribune. “The medical school’s location will give me greater access to patients and ultimately give me greater experience with patient care.”
Ortizo is currently a senior at New York University and will be graduating on May 21, 2014, with a major in Biology, a minor in Chemistry, and another minor in Public Health and Policy. He will graduate cum laude and be presented the NYU Founder’s Day award for maintaining an excellent GPA. He is also currently president of the NYU Biological Society.
During his undergraduate career Ortizo volunteered at hospitals both on Saipan and in New York City.
“I served as a volunteer at the Commonwealth Health Center and the Pacific Medical Center in Saipan, and Bellevue Hospital and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. In addition to my clinical experience, I have completed scientific research on plant genomics, as well as research on the behavioral risk factors of HIV transmission,” he said.
This academic year Ortizo was employed by the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and taught biology and pre-medical sciences to middle school students as a part of an educational and support program.
He said his work at hospitals on Saipan and in New York has shown him the importance of proper medical care and the need for primary care physicians in underserved areas.
“I decided that I would pursue a career in medicine with the honest and genuine intention of serving my hometown of Saipan as a physician,” he added.
He encouraged aspiring medical students to first explore their options before entering the medical field.
“Take time to gain the experiences needed to truly understand the enormous sacrifice doctors, nurses, and medical personnel make each and every day. Only when you can begin to appreciate the sacrifice these people make can you really begin to see yourself walking in their footsteps. Applying to medical school takes an incredible amount of work and effort,” he said.
He added, “My undergraduate education at NYU as well as my admission to medical school would not have been possible without the support I have received from many people.”
Ortizo particularly credits his success to his school, family, friends, the CNMI Scholarship Office, and the doctors, nurses, and staff members at the Commonwealth Health Center.
He is the son of Nero and Myrna Ortizo.