When asked about his experience at Montclair State, Dr. Domenick Sportelli ’00, ’03 MS described it as absolutely amazing. It was when he went on to medical school and larger learning environments that he truly appreciated the small class sizes and close-knit feel of Montclair State. “I never felt like a number,” says Sportelli. “I could tell that the professors loved their jobs and wanted us to succeed.” He was a diligent student, graduating with honors from both his undergraduate and graduate programs here at Montclair State.
Now, Sportelli is a successful psychiatrist, owning his own private practice in Montville, N.J. He is also well known for his recurring appearances on the CBS hit talk show The Doctors where he shares his medical advice and expertise with guests including some well-known people such as child star Aaron Carter. With a passion for addiction medicine, Sportelli works hard to get his patients off of drugs. He even works with Morris County officials to help with drug awareness. While Sportelli loves every aspect of his profession, he says his favorite part is seeing people smile again after a long road of hardships. He sees people at the lowest point in their lives, so watching them come back from that and living productive lives again is very rewarding for him. He notes that he has learned so much from working in this industry so far, and he says that the biggest lessons come from his patients. Seeing the strength, bravery and resilience of his patients inspires him to be the best person he can be. He adds, “Absolutely anyone can be affected by mental illness, and he sees that each and every day.”
While he loves medicine, Sportelli also hopes to further his media career to have mental illness talked about on a bigger stage and spread awareness. He recently shot a pilot for a potential new show in the School of Communication and Media building here at Montclair State.! When asked what people would be surprised to know about him, Sportelli says, “I’m very physically active so people assume I’m really into sports, but really I’m just a huge nerd.”
As for his advice to students, Sportelli says to never give up, no matter how discouraged you feel. He says that if you remember who you are and what you love and always pursue your goals, you will succeed. He adds, “There were so many times where I could’ve given up, but I didn’t and I am so glad I kept going.” Sportelli is still going to this day, helping and healing as many people as he can, working to reduce the stigma of mental illness.