Joseph Alagna completed the Certificate in Basic Sciences for Heath Professions in one year and is heading to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in August 2014.

by Chris Gasiewski

“[The certificate] got me into medical school. PCOM is a four-year medical program. Then I’ll complete my residency.”—Joseph Alagan, G.C. ’13

For as long as he can remember, Joseph Alagna, G.C. ’13, wanted to be a doctor.

Pursuing a medical degree, though, can pose many challenges, including finding the time and having patience. Supreme dedication is necessary, and Mr. Alagna said he wasn’t ready for it after receiving a bachelor’s in nursing from Molloy College in 2010.

“I hadn’t grown up,” the Levittown, New York, resident said. “I needed to live a little bit. When I was younger, I figured that if I could get into nursing, I’d be in medicine.”

Mr. Alagna was indeed in the field after graduating. He worked at New York University Langone Medical Center for a couple of years before the physician itch returned. He was now ready. And not only did he begin his journey by earning a Certificate in Basic Sciences for Health Professions from Adelphi’s University College, he did it in expeditiously, taking summer classes to finish the two-year program in just one year.

His reward? Mr. Alagna was accepted into both Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He chose the former and will begin his studies in August 2014.

“It got me into medical school,” Mr. Alagna said of the certificate. “[PCOM] is a four-year medical program. Then I’ll complete my residency.”

Mr. Alagna, who chose osteopathic medicine because of its humanistic approach, changed jobs while pursuing the certificate, moving to a primary care doctor in Plainview, New York, to be closer to Adelphi.

He lauded University College’s flexible scheduling for allowing him to achieve his goals quickly, and efficiently, and he spoke highly of Associate Professor Andrea Ward, Ph.D., (biology), Professor Eugene Hecht, Ph.D., (physics), part-time faculty member Maureen Karpf (physics) and Assistant Professor Melissa VanAlstine-Parris, Ph.D., (chemistry).

“He was an exceptional student. He was very engaged,” Dr. Ward said of Mr. Alagna. “He really paid attention and thought about things beyond the classroom. What we were talking about in class he thought about how it impacted things outside of class.

“I think he’d make a great physician because he will listen to what his patients are telling him.”

Regardless of where Mr. Alagna completes his residency, he plans to return to Long Island to provide family care.

“I’ve never been away [from Long Island],” he said. “I want to be out in the field, but the ultimate goal is to be back here practicing.”

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