Where did you grow up and what was it like for you?
I grew up in Sayreville NJ (central jersey) which is also the hometown of Jon Bon Jovi! My father was a painter and my mother was a house cleaner. I was the first in my family to go to college, let alone medical school. Growing up, my sister (16 months younger than me and now an engineer) had no idea we were middle class. Anything we needed, my parents found a way to make happen. They would kill themselves and save to be able to go on vacation or buy pizza for the neighborhood kids who would come over to play. They raised us to believe in God, respect others and always work harder than the next person. Funny, they never actually ever said the last part, but they led by example. My parents are my biggest fans and supporters.
What were your interests outside of school?
I played the drums growing up (now I play guitar as well). I was big into sports. I played some football and baseball and ran track in high school. I would play any sport I could growing up to stay active. I also liked to try to “invent things”. Nothing ever made it on Shark Tank, but I remember as a kid trying to find any uses for my Dad’s duct tape.
How did you decide to become an Orthopedic Surgeon?
I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. My Mom has had medical issues for as long as I can remember, and I wanted to help her. I remember in medical school as year three approached I realized, “I’m about to go on rotations and I have no idea what type of doctor I want to be”. Surgery always sounded cool, but my first few surgical experiences were with general and vascular surgeries and the surgeons always seemed less than happy to me.
Then one day I went into an orthopedic OR to observe a case and everyone was in a great mood. The doctor was joking, music was playing, the nurses seemed happy and when I spoke to the surgeon about the patients’ prognosis, he told me that they would be back to playing sports in a few weeks. This was it. I can help people get back to doing what they love, and the injuries tied into my original passion for sports. It was a no brainer!
Tell us about your current life, e.g. family, hobbies, interests.
I live in South Jersey about 20 minutes from Philadelphia. I am married with 9-year-old twins, Neil and Julie. I love spending every free second with them. The thin silver lining of COVID was seeing how blessed I am to have two children who want nothing more than to spend every second with me.
I enjoy working out and playing golf when time permits. Meshing my free time with work, I spend a good amount of time exploring new technologies in orthopedics and performing research. I am also associate faculty at Rowan University and teach a biomedical engineering class focused on developing new orthopedic technologies. Sports will always have my heart and I will watch and read about sports any second, I get. Did I mention that I love Disney World? Thanks Mom and Dad for starting me young!
From a leadership lens, I am proud to be on the AOAO Board of Directors. Additionally, I sit on the Board of Directors for Acenda Integrated Health which provides care and social services for women and children in need in South Jersey. I also sit on the New Jersey Orthopedic Society (NJOS) Board of Directors.
What are your goals for the future?
To be there for my family and make sure I do not miss the moments that matter for my children. One day I want them to feel about me the way I cherish the memories my parents made for me. Professionally, I want to continue to push for better outcomes for my patients through innovation and education. I want to leave a mark on both my patients and my residents, one that lets them know I care. Orthopedics is more than a job. It’s an honor and a lifestyle and I could not be happier. I want to take that passion and one day add a fellowship as part of my teaching program in orthopedic sports medicine. I also look forward to leading and driving the AOAO brand.
As the past few years have seen undeniable change in the osteopathic world, I think there are many positives ahead for us as we become more integrated in the allopathic world. I want to make sure we never forget our roots. Nothing great was ever easy, but the ride is always worth it if you have your friends.
DOs That Do
There are surgeons among us who do amazing things, and who have unique and interesting talents in the arts, music, sports, community service, etc. The purpose of “DOs That Do” is to showcase these individuals and their special talents or contributions.
Read about them here!