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Nitin Tanna, M.D., won the Grand Champion Award at the Lancaster County Science and Engineering Fair as a junior at McCaskey High School. 

Alan Peterson, M.D.

Successful medical careers often start with a love of science.

Nitin Tanna, M.D., and Alan Peterson, M.D., are encouraging the next generation of physicians and scientists by judging local and international science fairs.

Dr. Tanna, of Lancaster Radiology Associates, has served as lead judge in the Medicine and Health category of the Lancaster County Science Fair for more than 15 years. He also has judged the International Science and Engineering Fair for six years and teaches others how to judge projects correctly and consistently.

“I love to share my enthusiasm for science and medicine … and I always learn an immense amount,” he said. “I love the honor and privilege of working with the scientists and physicians of tomorrow.”

Dr. Tanna won various prizes in science fairs as a student in the School District of Lancaster, including Senior Division Grand Champion locally and second place in the international fair. Topics of his winning projects included noise pollution and using a bacterial model to test the mutagenicity of potential cancer-causing household substances.

Dr. Tanna recently judged an ISEF project on rapid detection of pancreatic cancer with serum biochemical markers. The winning student persisted despite numerous rejections of his proposals for lab space. He walked away with nearly $150,000 in prize money and offers from schools that had previously turned him down.  

“His drive and resilience were admirable,” Dr. Tanna said. “The project was full of novel ideas and thinking and a fresh approach to solutions.” 

Dr. Peterson, a retired family physician who has judged hundreds of local science fair projects, enjoys supporting both individual students and science in general.

“When one of those I judge highly goes on to national judging, I feel justified in my choice, of course, and very happy for that student,” he said. “They will have a great life ahead in science, if they want to pursue it.”

Dr. Peterson offers encouragement -- and occasionally suggestions for future projects -- even to those he didn’t judge. He tells each student that their project is one to be proud of, and he hopes to see them again next year.

“I always take time with each student to ask why they chose the subject they studied and what they are thinking of doing with the rest of their lives,” he said. “… Several of those students have gone on into science research, gotten their Ph.D's and are researching at universities today.”

Dr. Peterson, who serves on the board of the Lancaster County Conservancy, is especially excited to see environmental projects involving water, air, plant and earth studies. He encourages anyone who can spare a few hours one day a year to sign up to be a judge.

“To see all of the time and effort put into these projects really lifts my spirit,” he said. “With all the bad news in the media these days, this is uplifting for me.”


Stephen Ratcliffe, M.D.

Dr. Ratcliffe interviewed on offering health screenings for moms at well-baby visits

Penn Medicine’s news blog recently featured an LG Health program that offers health screenings for moms at well-baby visits. This interconception care model is part of IMPLICIT, a multi-site, practice-based quality improvement network.
“We found that many women would see their OB/GYN for one postpartum visit but wouldn’t return until they conceived again,” said Stephen D. Ratcliffe, M.D., Director of the LGH Family Medicine Residency Program. “However, moms did attend nearly all of their babies’ well-child visits, providing an opportune time for screening.”
Click here to read the entire article.


August J. Schulz, M.D.

Obituary for Dr. August Schulz, former director of LGH Psychiatric Unit

August J. “Gus” Schulz, M.D., of Holtwood, died Feb. 21, at age 85. Dr. Schulz served as Director of the Psychiatric Unit at Lancaster General Hospital from 1981 to 1995.
A native of Lancaster’s Cabbage Hill neighborhood, Dr. Schulz graduated from University of Pennsylvania Medical School and served in the U.S. Army. In addition to a private practice in psychiatry, he served as medical director for the Lancaster Guidance Center and staff psychiatrist at the Lebanon VA Medical Center.
A father of six and grandfather of 12, he also enjoyed music and nature. Click here to read Dr. Schulz’s entire obituary.

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