WHF Profile: David Strong (2020-21)

Can you tell us about yourself and your work before the White House Fellowship?

Before applying for the White House Fellowship I was a physician board certified in Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services. I practiced at a large academic center with a teaching mission and served on the Medical Control Authority for regional prehospital care.

How did you hear about the White House Fellows Program and what made you decide to apply?

I heard about the White House Fellows Program through a professional organization, the National Association of EMS Physicians, of which I am a member. It looked like an opportunity for professional and personal growth experiences that would be difficult to find anywhere else.

Where were you placed and what was the focus of your work?

I started my Fellowship in the Office of Health Affairs at the Department of Defense. I worked primarily on two projects while there. The first project was an examination of the cost of the provision of medical care through the military health system. The second project was the development of the Department of Defense COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan.

What was your fellowship class like?

My Fellowship class was absolutely amazing. 13 of the most accomplished and thoughtful people I have ever worked with.

How did the trajectory of your life and work change after the White House Fellowship?

My Fellowship year helped me realize that I had leadership and management skills that I enjoyed using but did not have the opportunity to exercise in my previous career position.

Have you and your classmates remained close since your Fellowship year?

Yes! The best part of my fellowship year was the 13 amazing people I got to share the experience with. We do our best to do a video chat every 1-2 months. We are also not shy about sending one another out of the blue text messages just to check in.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants? 

Try to enjoy the application and interview process. It doesn’t have to be stressful. Whether you are selected as a Fellow or not, the trajectory of your personal and profession life is completely up to you.