Dr. Romanelli is passionate about medicine, and he’s dedicated to helping the next generation of doctors, too. He also loves New York. With all that in mind, the scholarship for New York medical school students was the perfect way for him to give back.
You can learn more about the scholarship and vote for applicants on our scholarship page, but we’re dedicating this blog to the back story. We asked Dr. Romanelli several questions about his medical school experiences and his upbringing here in New York. Here’s what he had to say:
What factors lead you to choose your medical school program, SUNY Downstate?
I knew it would be a great clinical experience.
What did you enjoy about about medical school? Share a fond memory.
Collaborating with fellow medical students, of course, along with the phenomenal, dedicated teaching of my professors. They cared for patients, cared for us as future doctors, and reinforced our caring for patients.
What challenges did you face during your medical school years? How did you overcome it?
There was an almost overwhelming amount of material to study and master. Very long hours of clinical rotations, which were exhausting. I applied myself to all of the material with intensity: One topic at a time; one course at a time; one semester at a time. My loving family was encouraging and supportive, relieving me of guilt about time away from them.
Did you always know your passion was plastic surgery? If not, how did your medical school/residency experiences lead you there?
I always knew it was surgery. Once I spent time in plastic surgery, I knew that was for me. It is meticulous, it’s an art form, and it involves understanding people and their needs and motivation.
What advice do you have for students who are in the processs of deciding on and starting medical school?
Think long and hard about it. Spend as much time as you can speaking with and shadowing practicing doctors. Have a heart to heart with yourself to see if it is really for you. If yes, jump in and commit fully.
How do you think medical school has changed since you were a student (if at all)?
I think they’re a bit kinder and gentler to students. But the material has exploded: There’s much more to learn about the genetic components of diseases, for example.
Why do you love New York?
I was born in Brooklyn, I grew up in Queens and on Long Island, I went to Medical School in Brooklyn, and have been practicing on Long Island since 1990. It is HOME!
Here’s a bit more about Dr. Romanelli’s background, training, and experience, in his own words: