MD Insights: Physician alumni share experiences with students

The College of Science and Mathematics and the Office of Alumni Relations hosted its first Physician Alumni Panel discussion for students of the College of Science and Mathematics on Thursday, October 24. The panel included Dr. John Scheibelhoffer ’84 ’86 MA, ENT and Allergy Associates; Dr. Deborah Lozito ’82, Lozito Medical Associates; and Dr. Kenneth Cartaxo ’76, Health & Longevity Practice of NJ, Urgent Care House Calls. Dr. Robert Prezant, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, was in attendance along with distinguished staff including Dr. Kirsten Monsen (Panel Moderator), Associate Professor and Pre-Med Advisor; Dr. Carlos Molina, Associate Professor and Pre-Med Advisor; and Ann Marie DiLorenzo, Professor.

Panelists were asked to discuss their career paths, the kind of sacrifices that they had to make to follow a career in medicine, and the most valuable experiences that defined their careers. Panelists were very candid in their answers and provided a very clear and unbiased view of the realities of medical school and what it takes to succeed in the healthcare field. The physicians also shared their experiences at Montclair State and how they transitioned into the medical field, giving students an even deeper personal connection.

Araba Assan, a pre-med student, enjoyed hearing candid stories from the panelists. “I liked how the physicians stressed the importance of loving what you do and how much you have to sacrifice to get to your goal.”

Students asked many quality questions during the Q & A session and were very eager to obtain more information from the panelists that could assist them in their own career paths. Although students understood the difficulties that physicians have to face in order to succeed, this panel was very successful in demonstrating that when professionals do what they love for a living, the sacrifices are worth it.

In addition to offering advice, the panelists offered motivation and inspiration. “It was motivating, and it made me excited for medical school,” says Stephanie Ramirez.

Students truly appreciated the chance to tap into their alumni network by hearing honest accounts and real life experiences from successful alumni in field. Based on feedback from the students, this program will continue to grow and focus on areas of the admissions process, MCAT preparation, what to expect from residencies, and spotlights on different areas of medicine.

Robert Prezant, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, was thrilled to have alumni back on campus to connect with current students.

“How remarkably fortunate the College of Science and Mathematics is to have successful alumni so willing to invest their time and deep knowledge into helping our current students.  It was clear, from this very informative session, that each physician member of the panel was vested in sharing their insight with our students, a reflection of their dedication to the future of medicine and a reflection of their dedication to our alma mater.”

We encourage you to read more about the Physician Alumni Network and view photos from the event. For more information, contact Diana Martinez, Office of Alumni Relations, at or 973-655-3323.