Back in the late 1980s, Albright’s star quarterback, Michael J.
Crovetti ’88 took a rough tackle and ended up in St. Joe’s
emergency room with an ankle injury.
While this day may have started under a dark cloud,
that cloud had a silver lining.
Crovetti was treated by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Douglas
Tase. The surgeon invited the Albright pre-med hopeful to visit him in
his office. Soon Tase became a mentor to Crovetti.
“It was amazing,” recalls Crovetti, a native
of Cherry Hill, N.J. “Dr. Tase was a great guy. I started going
to his office after class, learning about orthopedics. Then he invited
me into the operating room. Here I was, a junior in college, and I was
able to observe major surgery, including total hip replacement surgery.”
Due to this experience, Crovetti decided to pursue
a career as an orthopedic surgeon.
“It’s funny that, to this day, my specialty is hip replacement
surgery,” he says.
After graduating from the University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey, Crovetti completed an internship, an orthopedic
residency, and then a fellowship focused on disorders of the hip, knee
Crovetti, 39, has become a pioneer in
minimal-incision hip and knee replacement surgery. He travels across
the country and internationally to teach other doctors, as well as to
continue his own training. He has also assisted medical companies in
developing new surgical instruments.
A resident of Henderson, Nevada, which he describes
as the south side of Las Vegas, Crovetti is the founder and CEO of the
Bone & Joint
Institute of Southern Nevada, where he operates and meets with patients.
Many of his patients have had sports injuries; others suffer from arthritis
or other diseases.
He has also founded and directs three other medical
businesses: Peak Performance Therapy & Fitness Center, which provides
rehabilitation services to the public; Nevada Sports Academy, a facility
dedicated to improving the performance of amateur and professional athletes;
and iPed Solutions, an outlet for medical and consumer education via
interactive CD technology. Crovetti employs 42 people, including a team
of seven administrative leaders.
In 2004, Crovetti founded a non-profit
institute for advanced surgical training, the Medical Education and Research
Institute of Nevada (MERIN), located in Henderson. The only bio-skills
facility in Nevada, MERIN is the largest surgical training institute
in the Western United States. The 18,000-square-foot state-of-the-art
facility was designed by surgeons, including Crovetti, and features nine
surgical suites, including a 50-seat surgical amphitheater with five
large screens to ensure visibility for all spectators. MERIN offers training
in all types of surgery, not just orthopedic surgery, Crovetti says.
With MERIN drawing surgeons from around the world,
Crovetti is receiving credit for
putting Vegas on the map as an emerging
center of surgical training. And that is exactly what he aims to do.
“Historically, Las Vegas hasn’t favored
well, due to a perception that the medical care here is poor, and that
there is a doctor shortage here,” says Crovetti. “It is just
not true, and we are changing the perception. The Research Institute
is accomplishing great things. Any time you have a medical school it
raises the bar and draws more specialists to the area.”
Crovetti is passionate about the quality of life in
the suburbs of Vegas.
Before deciding where to settle down, he and his wife
Karen, a native of Texas, spent a year traveling across the country to
find the best location.
“Both of us fell in love with Vegas,” he
is beautiful here, and the weather is
awesome. Everything is so close – Phoenix, San Francisco, Lake
Tahoe, Salt Lake City, Colorado – it makes weekends very enjoyable.”
The couple has three children, Brielle, 11, Chelsea,
9, and Mike, 6. Crovetti says he often works from home and spends a lot
of time with his family.
“My kids play year-round soccer,” he says. “Because
of the weather, all sports are
year-round here. I play a lot of golf. We have incredible golf courses
here. Neither my wife or I gamble. The only reason we go to The Strip
is to eat a great meal or to see a great show.”
What advice does he have for current Albright students
traveling the arduous path to becoming physicians? A strong work ethic
and networking with colleagues along the way, Crovetti says.
“Absolutely, work as hard as you can,” he
ways to be better at what you do. It pays its rewards very quickly.”
Crovetti looks forward to seeing the new Gene Shirk
Stadium the next time he visits Albright. He stays in touch with some
of his football buddies, who called him during a reunion at Albright
on Homecoming Weekend.
“My most memorable times at Albright were the days spent on the
football field in practice or in games,” he says.
So how is the ankle feeling, after all these years?
“It is a funny thing,” says Crovetti. “That ankle injury
still bothers me sometimes. But I played the next week. My attitude is
- keep playing. Playing hurt builds character.”