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In the Midst of COVID-19, USciences President Helps Future Healthcare Providers See Their Value

By Jenna Pizzi

Published on May 1, 2020

Paul KatzUSciences President Paul Katz, MD was inspired by his father, a physician, to pursue medicine as a profession. Throughout his career, he has been committed to helping students follow their passion into healthcare and science careers.

Katz, who is board certified in internal medicine, allergy and immunology, and rheumatology, has spent the majority of his professional life in medical education and had primary leadership roles in opening two medical schools: The Commonwealth Medical College (now, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine) as Founding Vice Dean, and as Founding Dean of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Today, as President of USciences he has helped to reimagine the pre-health professions (medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, etc.) education programs to optimally prepare students to be successful in their pursuit of professional school admission and careers as healthcare providers and leaders. 

At a time when physicians and other practitioners are on the front lines in the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19), the strength of these programs and the quality of education offered at USciences is more important than ever, Dr. Katz said. 

“It is essential that we have talented people entering science and health professions,” said Dr. Katz. “This pandemic has shown us the importance of having a strong healthcare system and how vital those practitioners are to the health and well-being of the public.”

In addition to his father, Dr. Katz counts among his mentors in medicine, Anthony Fauci, MD, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, and advisor to President Donald Trump during the pandemic. 

“I learned an enormous amount from Tony that had nothing to do with science or medicine. Now more than ever, I value his commitment, work ethic, values, and rigor,” said Dr. Katz. 

This pandemic has shown us the importance of having a strong healthcare system and how vital those practitioners are to the health and well-being of the public

-- Paul Katz, MD

Dr. Katz, who completed his fellowship under Dr. Fauci, spent four years working in his laboratory on fundamental immunology research. “He has a relentless focus, meticulous inquiry, and an uncanny ability to always be thinking ahead and rising to whatever challenge emerges,” he said.

After a return to clinical care and teaching, Dr. Katz was presented with the opportunity to move to the administrative side of medical schools and health systems, a mission he committed to with the same drive and passion that he admired in his mentor. He has remained committed to research and scholarship throughout his career publishing over 260 articles, chapters, and abstracts.

Through this experience, Dr. Katz became familiar with the things that make successful health professions students and practitioners, and he has brought that expertise to USciences students. He has learned that those who are great caretakers aren’t necessarily the smartest or most clinically talented, but those have a remarkable knack in connecting with people.

His advice to these students is simple: “Be flexible. Be bold. Take chances,” said Dr. Katz. “Having a good education is the basis upon which you can build, become a lifelong learner, and excel in these careers which are so critical to our society.”

Categories: News, Coronavirus, Misher College of Arts and Sciences, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Samson College of Health Sciences, President's Office