Former musician Matthew Stamm becomes a physician assistant

Harrison Marder

Matthew Stamm may have graduated from Boston University with a pre-med degree in clinical exercise physiology in 2000, but when he graduated you had a better chance of hearing him on the radio than you did seeing him in a doctor’s office. 

Stamm, a Roslyn resident, said upon graduation he chose to pursue a career as a musician, a lifelong passion of his, after graduation.

“I was always interested in music,” Stamm said. “I didn’t want to look back in 20 years and say I should have [pursued music] instead [of a different career.]”

A singer, songwriter, keyboard player and guitarist, Stamm played in band called The Rideaways that was signed by Wind-up Records, a record label based in New York City.

Stamm said he also self-produced several albums. 

He also taught music at Temple Sinai of Roslyn from 2006-2011 at the same time his wife Alison was the principal of the temple’s religious school. Alison is currently the temple’s Director of Teen and Youth Services.

But things came full circle when he and Alison decided to start planning a family, Stamm said.

At that point, he said, he decided it was time to find a more “practical” and “stable” job than being a musician. 

“It was time to go back to school,” he said. 

While searching for a new career path, Stamm said, he “stumbled across” the physician assistant profession.

Stamm said he did not know about the physician assistant profession when he graduated from Boston University, but said it was something he became passionate about.

“[It is] a good, rewarding job,” he said. “You make a difference.”

In 2010, Stamm said he began taking prerequisite classes to become a part of the physician assistant program at the College of Health Sciences at Touro College in Manhattan.

Stamm said he spent two and a half years at Touro, which included one year of classroom learning, one year of rotational work in hospitals and doctors offices, and six months working on his master’s thesis and preparing to take the board certification exam.

“Touro was a great location,” he said. “[They had] contracts with [a lot of] area doctors and hospitals.”

On. Sept. 10, during the school’s commencement ceremony at the Tilles Performing Arts Center in Greenvale, Stamm was awarded the Maimonides Award from Touro College School of Health Sciences

Stamm said he was the only student from his physician assistant class of 45 students at Touro Manhattan selected for the award. 

“I was especially honored that I was singled out,” he said. “I felt very grateful and I felt very honored.”

The award is meant to honor graduates “for demonstrating the highest professional ideals of a health sciences practitioner” a Touro College press release said.

Stamm said he was chosen for the award because of his hard work ethic and his tendency to always “go the extra mile.”

“I want to be [a] health practitioner who has very good values,” he said. 

During his time at Touro, Stamm said he worked at New York University School of Medicine’s Langone Medical Center, for six weeks participating in a “six-week intensive elective rotation in robotic surgery.”

Simply put, Stamm said robotic surgery is a “surgical technique that uses a surgeon-control[led] robot to perform [minimally invasive] surgical cases.

A month after completing the physician assistant program at Touro, Stamm said he was hired to a full-time position at NYU.

“NYU’s [physician’s assistants] are very well respected and hands on,” Stamm said. “[The] team atmosphere [was] a really great fit for me.”

While he was completing his year of clinical rotations at Touro, Stamm said, he spent time at a number of area hospitals including at North Shore-LIJ in Manhasset and Lake Success. 

 “[It] was a really great learning experience,” he said.

Stamm said he was recently hired for a part-time position at North Shore-LIJ’s emergency department in Manhasset.

In early 2016, Stamm said he will begin working three to four shifts a week there. 

“[The] beauty of this profession is that you don’t specialize in school, you specialize on the job,” Stamm said. “[I am] learning every day. I will continue to expand and grow in my career. That is what is so exciting about this.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harrison Marder

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