Public Release: 

Columbia physician to receive White House Fellowship

Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Howard Zucker, associate professor of clinical pediatrics and clinical anesthesiology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, has been selected for this year's White House Fellowship program, widely recognized as one of America's premier programs for leadership and public service. Dr. Zucker, who graduated from George Washington University's School of Medicine at the age of 22--and subsequently received law degrees from Fordham University (Juris Doctor) and Columbia University (Master of Laws)-was chosen from an applicant pool of approximately 700 for one of only 12 available spots.

"My interest is in health care policy, in the many areas where law and medicine interface," said Dr. Zucker, 41. "I hope to be able to apply my clinical experience and educational background to help the administration in various arenas."

Dr. Zucker, who will be notified of his placement and work assignment next month, said he is eagerly anticipating the beginning of his fellowship, which will run from September 2001 through August 2002.

"The exchange of knowledge and experience that takes place in this program is tremendous," said Dr. Zucker. "I think I'll have a much better grasp of how policy is set at the executive branch by the end of the fellowship year. With the escalating number of medical issues shaping our future, it is important that physicians understand the mechanics of the public policy decision-making process."

Dr. Zucker was chosen as ABC World News Tonight's "Person of the Week" in 1993 for initiating pediatric intensive care unit reunions to help children celebrate their recovery. He has been listed in Best Doctors in America for the past five years; is board-certified in pediatric cardiology, critical care, and anesthesiology; sits on the New York City Bar Association's "Science and the Law" subcommittee; and serves as a consultant to the American Museum of Natural History's exhibit titled "The Genomic Revolution." While still in college, Dr. Zucker worked at McGill University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, designing experiments for the Space Shuttle program. Dr. Zucker is a founding member of the Little Hearts Foundation (which raises money to cure congenital heart disease) and has traveled on medical missions to China with the Children of China Pediatrics Foundation, helping orphans in need of reconstructive surgery.

Since 1964, the White House Fellowship program has offered outstanding young Americans the opportunity to participate in the day-to-day business of governing the nation. Individuals work full time as either a special assistant to a cabinet member or to a senior presidential advisor-and participate in an education program designed to nurture and develop leadership skills. Previous White House fellows include Secretary of State Colin Powell, U.S. senator Sam Brownback, Wall Street Journal columnist Paul Gigot, and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

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