University of Pittsburgh

Student Profiles

Gaetan Pettigrew, Class of 2012

Pittsburgh, Pa.
I tried to leave but I just could not stay away

Areas of Interest:
Transplantation surgery and regenerative medicine

Alma mater: University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I was a Dance Performance major. Yes, you read that right. Dance Performance. I found something I really enjoyed and decided to see where it would take me.

Favorite food in Scaife Cafeteria
Savory: Vegetarian chili with lots of hot sauce. Sweet: Cookies!!! Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Macadamia, and Oatmeal Raisin--in that order.

Favorite Place in Pittsburgh
Schenley Park. You can see downtown from the middle of the park. For me it’s the best of both worlds. I can enjoy acres of nature just minutes away from the hustle and the city.

Favorite thing about PittMed
The atmosphere is one that almost can’t be explained, only experienced. Once I enter the doors of Scaife, I am immediately met by countless friendly faces and I am surrounded by family and friends. Every aspect of this medical experience is geared toward cultivate a really positive comfortable learning environment. I feel that I can discover and cultivate my talents and interests.

Favorite Educational Experience
Course: Microbiology. It is like I am doing puzzles in grade school all over again; just slightly more complicated.

Summer Plans after MS-I
I have not spent a summer in Pittsburgh in close to 7 years so I look forward to getting to know the city I love but have lost touch with over the years. I will also be doing kidney transplantation research in one of the many biomedical buildings on campus.

Places traveled
Germany, England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Africa (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal), St. Barths. The list goes on and on. I am proud of and thankful that I took almost every opportunity to go abroad I could.

Favorite Ice cream flavor
I am lactose intolerant, but if I was a glutton for punishment, I would have to say Neopolitan--three flavors in one huge tub. I say: go big or go home.

Why you chose Pitt Med
I wanted to go to school that lacked an ultra-competitive environment that was located in a manageable and livable city close to my family. I guess you could say I was lucky; three out of three is not half bad.

Favorite Movie and Superhero
Movie: Talk to Her by Pedro Almodóvar. If you watch it you will either love it or hate it. Superhero: Wolverine. The X-men just can’t be beat. Favorite food? Salad with French Fries--it’s a Pittsburgh thing.

Favorite Pitt Med memory thus far
Receiving my white coat from my mother. As she held back the tears, she quietly chuckled and smiled knowing I was in for a real surprise Monday morning but that this would be the most fulfilling time in my life.

Our Mission

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is to improve the health and well-being of individuals and populations through cutting-edge biomedical research, innovative educational programs in medicine and biomedical science, and leadership in academic medicine.