Eight years of college (That started at SUNY CCC). Six years of post-graduate training. Thousands of hours spent studying. Cutting-edge research projects.
Amy Spallone, M.D. ’08 has achieved her childhood dream of becoming a doctor. She is currently completing her postdoctoral training at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
“I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was in grade school,” said the Corning, N.Y. native. “I knew medicine was hard work but I also knew it was a rewarding career and a way to integrate the natural sciences into my expertise.”
Amy is an Infectious Diseases Postdoctoral Fellow studying rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV positive patients after their diagnosis. ART is the use of HIV medications to treat the infection.
For Amy, the best part about her job is getting to know her patients and their individual stories.
“My favorite part about this job is learning every patient’s story,” said Amy. “Every single person has a story to share and the problem often lies in the seemingly unimportant details of their story. It’s my job to figure it out.”
Amy’s current position consists of inpatient consult services. Practitioners call her with questions regarding patient issues and she helps them assess the situation, diagnose, and treat. Amy’s clinic panel of patients are those living with HIV and other infectious diseases.
“I’m in the process of learning how to treat an infection that other medical professionals may not have even considered or encountered,” she said. “Ultimately, the greatest reward in this field is to make the patient better and get them out of the hospital and back to their life.”
Amy got her start in this field while working in an HIV lab during her time at Albany Medical College. She also worked on several quality improvement projects in the HIV clinic.
“I already knew I wanted to go into the field of infectious diseases and was looking for additional experience in bench research,” said Amy. “Our research fell under the umbrella of HIV cure research, meaning we were hoping to learn something new that could eventually be used towards treatments and a cure.”
Amy credits SUNY Corning Community College for giving her a solid foundation to begin her career.
“SUNY CCC was really the match point for my student career,” said Amy. “I had many opportunities to distinguish myself as a student as well as excellent guidance and mentorship from the Biology and Chemistry professors.”
SUNY CCC Professor of Biology David Pindel said that students like Amy are the reason he became an educator.
“Amy’s unique combination of work ethic, critical intellect, motivation, and empathy remain unsurpassed,” said David. “I cannot express how proud and happy I am for her and all she’s accomplished thus far.”
Amy is set to complete her subspecialty training at Baylor in 2021 and is looking forward to the next few years of her career.
“The most rewarding part of this career is coming face to face with a problem that nobody else has been able to figure out,” said Amy. “I am looking forward to having an established academic career, as well as continuing to conduct research.”