Meet Alex Nielson

Name: Alex Neilson

Year:   MS1Alex Nielson

Hometown: Beaverton, Ore. 

Interests: Emergency medicine, veterans organizations, rural health, paddle sports


First-year medical student Alex Nielson spent five years in active duty as a Marine Corps Special Operations Combat Medic serving in combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. As part of his military service, Alex trained at University of Southern California’s Keck Hospital, the John F. Kennedy School of Special Warfare at Fort Bragg, N.C. and the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Fla. In the military, Alex trained and worked in Level-1 trauma centers and went on to serve as on-scene director for 3 battlefield mass casualty situations where he independently treated and evacuated 4 wounded marines who survived thanks to his care. Alex has received numerous recognitions and commendations for his exemplary service including a Presidential Unit Citation.

After active duty, the Beaverton, Ore. native returned to finish an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Maryland. During college, Alex became involved with organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project and Team River Runner, which helps veterans find healing through paddle sports. The third–generation Oregonian is thrilled to return home to study at OHSU and hopes to someday help improve emergency care in underserved parts of the state.

While in Portland, Alex plans to continue his work with Team River Runner. He said, “I am very excited about the close partnership between OHSU and the VA Portland Health Care System, and I hope to recruit more participants and volunteers for the program as well as promote awareness for veteran welfare within the community.”