Water Polo Player Moves on to Medical School
May 26, 2009
USAFA, Colo. - During tomorrow's graduation ceremony for the United States Air Force Academy Class of 2009, each cadet will walk across the stage in Falcon Stadium and depart with a bachelor of science degree and commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. However, each graduating cadet will take a different path after leaving the Academy. For water polo player Ted Saitz, that path will lead to New Orleans, La., where he will enroll in medical school at Tulane University.
Saitz, one of the Falcons' top student-athletes, will attend Tulane University Medical School for four years on the HPSP (Health Professions Scholarship Program) scholarship. His fees, books and tuition will all be paid for; in return, he will incur an additional four-year service commitment after completing his residency. The program is located in downtown New Orleans, where the health systems are still in the process of rebuilding after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina nearly four years ago. Saitz plans to enter the field of orthopedic surgery, where he can assist athletes, as well as military trauma injuries.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Saitz joined the water polo team at the beginning of the 2008 season. The former swimmer was an invaluable member of the practice squad, and even had the opportunity to see action in a few games, as well as earn a spot on the Falcons' travel roster for one trip in the fall. As evidence of his positive experience as a member of the team, Saitz hopes to remain active in the sport by joining a club team in New Orleans.
"My teammates on the water polo team motivated me to not only perform my best in the pool, but also helped me on the tough road to medical school," said Saitz. "Without the support of my teammates, the journey would have been a much more difficult one."
"I am very proud and excited that Ted was accepted to the Tulane University Medical School," said Air Force head coach Jeff Ehrlich. "Ted will be an excellent medical student and I wish him the best during his next four years. His work ethic and attitude were among the best on the team and he did all of this while putting in 20 hours a week in the pool."