Fall 2012
Resident Round-Up

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Medical oncology fellow Tim Adamowicz

Medical oncology fellow Tim Adamowicz, D.O., was attracted to the School of Medicine's fellowship program because it gave him the opportunity to help develop a new program from the ground up. Photo by Edgar Antonio Nunez.

Fellow makes leap from engineering to oncology

By Matt Lush

When he isn't hiking and biking near Red Rock, Nev., Tim Adamowicz, D.O., is hard at work as a medical oncology fellow in Las Vegas.

Though he was drawn to the profession of medicine, it wasn't until graduating from Penn State with his degree in electrical engineering that Adamowicz made the jump to medical school.

He knew in college he was going to pursue either medicine or engineering, but couldn't decide on which path to take, so he prepared for both professions, taking medical school prerequisites along with engineering courses.

"I graduated college early and I was trying to find an engineering job that I liked, but I couldn't," Adamowicz said.

"I was able to take a job as a substitute teacher and was drawn to teaching special needs children, where I could focus more on helping individual problems."

Working with the special needs children solidified Adamowicz's interest in medicine, and he felt he could draw upon his previously learned skills in engineering to help him in the medical field.

"Medicine draws from the same concepts as engineering," Adamowicz said. "It's all about problem solving."

Adamowicz, an alumnus of Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, who completed a residency at Drexel University College of Medicine, said he was drawn to oncology because the field offered continuous opportunity to grow and learn.

"Oncology is a rapidly-evolving field, with new research and cutting-edge therapies every day," Adamowicz said.

"As a physician, you're putting new and potentially life-saving discoveries into action for the benefit of your patients. It's incredibly challenging and rewarding."

The medical oncology fellowship, a collaborative partnership between the University of Nevada School of Medicine and the UC San Diego Health System's Nevada Cancer Institute, was attractive to him because it is the first medical oncology subspecialty fellowship in Nevada and provided him an opportunity to help pioneer a new program.

Cancer treatment has increasingly shifted primarily to outpatient care centers, which Adamowicz says is indicative of quality care and aggressive treatments that can help keep patients out of the hospital. New technology and research present more options to treat and cure cancers than ever before.

"People think of oncology as a depressing field, but with today's knowledge base and earlier screening, cancer is not always a death sentence," he said.

"For every critically ill patient, there are many more that make tremendous improvements and even see their cancer cured. My job is always rewarding because of the opportunity to take that life journey with my patients."

Adamowicz credits the fellowship director, Delva Deauna-Lymayo, M.D., for the program's success.

"She has been aggressive in ensuring quality practices and exciting learning opportunities, and making continuous improvements," Adamowicz said.

Adamowicz completes his fellowship next July, as a member of the second class of fellows to graduate from the program.

"Now that I've nearly completed my formal education, it's exciting to think of the opportunities ahead."