Sforzo Mentors Pre-Med Students during Annual 8 Week Program
The Notre Dame Club of Sarasota honored Christopher Sforzo, M.D., for his volunteer efforts on behalf the University’s Summer Service Learning Program. Sforzo, a board certified and fellow-ship trained orthopedic surgeon is the founder of Sforzo | Dillingham Orthopedics and a longtime participant of the mentorship program.
The Summer Service Learning Program helps senior pre-med students better understand the challenges of becoming a physician in a medical practice environment. In his volunteer role, Dr. Sforzo allows pre-med students to observe surgeries and patient evaluations in his office while providing one-on-one educational mentoring. Dr. Sforzo has been mentoring two Notre Dame pre-med students each year providing guidance to 20 students since 2005.
Notre Dame Club of Sarasota Board Member, Dr. Fred Morrison, presented Dr. Sforzo with a plaque commemorating his superior service. Morrison, a 30 year civilian engineer for the Navy was a Chief Scientist for submarine launched missiles for the Naval Seas Command (NAVSEA). He currently serves the Navy as a consultant.
“Being a rocket scientist is a lot like being a surgeon. We both deal with systems that have a lot of components, and they share temperature, density and pressure.” said Morrison, who heads the Summer Learning Service program in Sarasota.
The internships are part of a 3-credit course for the Center of Social Concern, a program within Notre Dame. The eight week program is spent in Sarasota at the Senior Friendship Center and Resurrection House along with practicing physicians.
“It’s a transformative experience for the students and reconfirms their commitment to medicine. I try to emphasize to these medical students that yes, you are a physician, but you are also a spouse, a partner, a volunteer and a teammate – you are not just a physician,” added Sforzo.
In 2015, 120 Notre Dame Clubs sponsored 230 Notre Dame students in sites across the country including Sarasota. Room and board are provided by the Club or the site. Some students serve in their local communities and live at home. The Notre Dame Clubs and other special scholarship funds provide a $2,700 Social Concerns Scholarship to students at the completion of this eight-week summer experience and the academic requirements.
“Due to Dr. Sforzo’s efforts, the quality of the Summer Service Learning Program in Sarasota has significantly improved and the part of himself that he shares with the students in this mentoring process has put them on the road to becoming better physicians who can coordinate their life with family and volunteer efforts in the future,” Morrison stated.