Class of 2013: Amsterdam senior getting leg up on career in medicine

Friday, June 21, 2013
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Dillon Dzikowicz is shown with children in Guatemala during a trip there in February.
Dillon Dzikowicz is shown with children in Guatemala during a trip there in February.

Senioritis is one term that a local high school senior doesn’t have in his vocabulary.

Dillon Dzikowicz, a senior at Amsterdam High School, spent most of his senior year filling his resume with activities beyond the classroom, with the hopes to better separate himself from other graduating seniors this year.

“I’m actually doing a special program at SUNY New Paltz. It’s a seven-year program with guaranteed assurance to medical school,” said Dzikowicz. “That program is extremely competitive, so the ability to do FM (Fulton Montgomery Community College) my senior year really gave my resume a little extra to help me get into the program.

“I did the early admittance program to take a wider array of classes, expose myself to more things, and make that transition to college a little bit easier.”

Dzikowicz essentially forfeited his senior year with his friends at Amsterdam High School to enroll at FMCC last fall. Aside from the essential senior requirements Dzikowicz needed to graduate, he spent almost all of his time at the community college.

“I decided to do that [enroll early] because I have ambitions to do my MBA at New Paltz,” said Dzikowicz. “So the credits I earned at FM [FMCC] will transfer.”


Prior to enrolling at FMCC last fall, Dzikowicz spent his summer working at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. What started as an internship turned into a part-time job by the end of the summer.

“I earned my LPN (licensed practical nurse) license and then I was working every day in the summer on a medical-surgical unit and I was able to interact with all of the nurses, the hospitalists and other doctors,” said Dzikowicz.

It was Dzikowicz’s experiences last summer that encouraged him to make a career path change from cardiology to a future career as a critical-care hospitalist, a position in which the doctor only works in a hospital setting.

The action outside of the classroom didn’t stop for Dzikowicz at St. Peter’s Hospital. In February the Amsterdam senior traveled with doctors to Guatemala to help people in rural areas. The opportunity sparked Dzikowicz’s interest.

“To be able to interact with the people, young and old, who live in this community, which was very rural, very poor,” said Dzikowicz. “We made someone’s cast out of cardboard and tape. We were treating all different types of disorders with 10 medications, whatever we could fit in our suitcases. It was really interesting to see the puzzle-solving methods [for] chaos down there.”

Aside from Guatemala, Dzikowicz has traveled to China and Moscow in the past to take in the culture of each country. Traveling is among Dzikowicz’s hobbies — one that has most recently taken him to Alaska to observe the culture and environment of the 50th state.

Dzikowicz graduates with his class at Amsterdam High School this month and heads to SUNY New Paltz in the fall to study biology/pre-med.

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