an e-newsletter for students and alumni of saint Michael's biology department
Back Issues

Admissions Biology About Saint Michaels News and Events Student Life βββ Academics
             

 
 
Alumni Profile
Dr. Lee Smilowicz 96

 

 


 

 
 
 

D.O. F.A.A.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine)

How did your experiences at St. Michael�s College prepare you for your career? I�m a 1996 graduate of St. Michael�s College and it was my junior year when I panicked, struck with the age old question��what do I want to do with my life? Naturally, I proceeded right to the Mecca of knowledge. When I knocked on Dr. Bozzone�s office door, she warmly instructed me to have a seat. We deliberated and introspected; �what interests you?� she asked. I revisited my course experiences at SMC. Rapidly advancing to the forefront of my favorite classes, as a biology major, was Dr. Doug Facey�s Physiology class. It inspired my inner academian! We sized up the career aptitude test, taken at the SMC resource center, which indicated that a human service field would likely be more compatible than a lab bench and bunsen burner. Dr. Bozzone then suggested that I shadow an Osteopathic family physician practicing in Essex Junction, VT. With reverence, I still tribute a Biology faculty who, amongst the privilege of our small community, was able to know me better than I knew myself at that time and direct me down my chosen path!

How did this career path manifest in relation to your experience with SMC biology studies? As instructed, I contacted Dr. J. Johannson, D.O. and Dr. J. Fenton, D.O. to shadow a day in their office. I was privileged to see many patients alongside these caring Osteopathic physicians. From providing prescriptions for common infections to working up chest pain, I applauded the many ways they could help members of their community through their physician training. I was most inspired by the way the Osteopathic physician could use their hands to promote healing. They applied Osteopathic manipulative techniques promoting lymphatic movement for the common cold to gentle articulatory techniques for low back pain; the results were patients laced in gratitude. I quickly learned that Osteopathic medicine focuses on treating patients and not just symptoms. It emphasizes the trinity of spirit, mind and body as it relates to patient care. Osteopathic philosophy and medical treatment are grounded in the inter-relatedness of structure and function.

My studies as a Biology major enabled me to attain my pre-med requisites through the requirements of the degree program itself. The liberal arts emphasis of SMC, in addition to the courses necessary for my major, prepared me for successful scores as it related to my MCAT testing. My SMC biology degree was the perfect springboard for my entrance to the University of New England�s College of Osteopathic Medicine. I went on to complete a residency in Internal Medicine and specialty fellowship in Neuromusculoskeletal medicine. More recently, I attained conferment in my specialty academy becoming a fellow of the American Academy of Osteopathy. I am blessed with the opportunity to use this skill set as an assistant clinical professor with the University of New England teaching Osteopathic Principles & Practice. I am also part of a multidisciplinary neurosurgical and spine care practice team, a Maine Medical Center affiliate, where I provide emphasis on structural and manual care.

What advice would you give current SMC biology students? Every experience and class matters while you are at SMC! The relationships that you form with faculty, including your faculty advisor, may one day influence your life�s path. Let the intimacy of the Biology department nurture you as your career path unfolds and as you develop as a person (which also has overwhelming times during our collegiate years)! The tenacity and dedication necessary for your senior research/seminar is preparatory for the skill set that will be required in life, especially as it relates to graduate study! The St. Mike�s biology department presents a wonderful �buffet� of experiences��embrace them all�..and when you find yourself wanting to go for seconds, this may be the subtle voice presenting an invitation towards your vocation!

The St. Michael�s science community inspired and prepared me for advanced studies that would allow me to answer a calling, not just pursue a career. I also credit SMC with four famous years of memories, the opportunity for friendships that continue to humble me and, seventeen years later, a college sweetheart that became the best husband a purple knight could ever hope for!

 

Go Back