The NEOMED Way
NEOMED: A Family Affair
With a third son having graduated in 2015, NEOMED degrees are now unanimous among the Miladore family of five – mother Dianne (charter class of ‘81); father Mike (‘82); and sons Michael (‘10), Nicolas (‘12) and the newest grad, Joseph (‘15).
Mike developed an interest in medicine through Dianne, who was pre-med when they started dating at Youngstown State. From there they both went on to NEOMED and residencies, with Mike specializing in orthopaedics and Dianne in emergency medicine.
With two successful doctors in the house, it seemed natural when the Miladore sons developed their own interests in medicine.
“People say, ‘Did you encourage them?’ but it’s just what they saw in the home,” Dianne says. “They had two physician parents and they saw we enjoyed what we were doing. We definitely didn’t discourage them. I’m thrilled they’re in the field of medicine. It’s a great field.”
Mike and Dianne have participated in life at NEOMED in a variety of roles since 1977, initially as students and then when they returned to the area after their residencies in Toledo – from multiple terms on the Board of Trustees and other administrative committees, to faculty positions and interviewing prospective students as part of the admissions committee. When their boys were in high school, Dianne and Mike became de facto advocates for the medical program at NEOMED with other students, dispensing advice and even conducting mock interviews to help them prepare to apply. Even now, the phone rings once or twice a week with questions from a curious high-schooler.
Since graduating as members of the first and second classes at NEOMED, Dianne and Mike have seen the college evolve into a valuable community asset – affordable, high-quality medical education nestled in an eminently livable area. The rigorous program helps channel youthful drive, too.
“The schedule was one reason NEOMED was such a great opportunity for our boys,” Mike says. “They had a lot of energy. Keeping them busy year-round with curriculum was a good thing.”
Today, Michael, after recently completing his orthopaedic residency, is serving in a fellowship in hand and upper extremity surgery at SUNY Buffalo, while Nick is a fourth-year orthopaedic surgery resident at Western Michigan with an interest in total joint reconstructive surgery. Joseph, the youngest, began his general surgery residency at Youngstown’s St. Elizabeth Hospital in July. Their parents’ fingers are crossed that they’ll return to their hometown to practice.
Mike and Dianne love that NEOMED allows their community to keep talented medical professionals in its midst, both as practitioners and in leadership positions. As a result, residents in the area don’t have to drive 60 miles or more to get top-of-the-line care; it’s just down the road.
“We always said that we were going to go away to train in our residencies, then come back to our area to take care of our own,” says Mike. “Our own primary care physicians are NEOMED grads,” Dianne adds. “It’s nice.”
Dianne and Mike look forward to a bright future for NEOMED – with additional colleges and programs that could help underserved communities. Maybe offices for practicing physicians in the area, or an urgent care center. “There’s a lot of potential,” Dianne says.
They feel pride when they drive down Interstate 76 and see the tremendous changes the school has undergone in recent years – something else they share with their sons. When their two oldest came to town for the NEOMED gala, Dianne recalls, “even the one who had graduated in 2012 could not believe the transformation. I could see the pride and sense of accomplishment on their faces when they walked into the facility.”
NEOMED is a beloved presence in both the Miladore’s family and their community.
“It’s very comforting knowing it is there,” says Mike. “This school has been very good to us.”