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Robert DeVito, College of Medicine student

Investing Himself in Others: Robert DeVito

If you had to describe Robert DeVito, a third-year Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine student, the best words would be hard-working, says Ali Kimyaghalam, M.D.,

After working with DeVito for several years, Dr. Kimyaghalam, a clinical instructor of surgery and fourth-year resident in Western Reserve Health Education’s General Surgery Residency Program at Trumbull Regional Medical Center in Warren, Ohio, speaks highly of him.

“He is the hardest-working student I have ever seen and I have been teaching medical students since my intern year – even during medical school,” says Dr. Kimyaghalam.

And DeVito speaks just as highly of Dr. Kimyaghalam.

“Ali has taught me how to write abstracts, how to talk to journal editors and so much more. He is really highly motivated in research and it is good to be around someone like that with such a positive, hard-working attitude. He’s been a good role model. If they told him to wipe the floors, he’d wipe the floors,” shares DeVito.

DeVito and Dr. Kimyaghalam first met when DeVito was looking for research experience and asked Dr. Kimyaghalam if he needed someone to do “lackey work.”

From there, the two formed a bond that has recently taken them to San Diego and San Francisco for research presentations at national surgery conferences.

In September, DeVito and Dr. Kimyaghalam presented at Plastic Surgery: The Meeting and in October, the pair presented at the Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.

A family affair

DeVito’s interest in surgery didn’t happen by chance.

He’s following in the footsteps of his father Peter DeVito, M.D. (’91), an associate professor of surgery, brother Peter DeVito, M.D. (’18), who is completing a residency in vascular surgery at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson in Tucson, Arizona, and a cousin Gregory Tanner, M.D. (’11) who is an orthopaedic surgeon in Fredericksburg, Virginia, making DeVito the fourth in his family to attend NEOMED.

As for his choice of a career in surgery, DeVito shares, “I always liked working with my hands, but I really appreciate that I get to take a complex problem, find a creative solution for it and get that immediate gratification after having helped a patient.”

One step closer to serving others

To finish his third year of training, DeVito will complete his final clerkships in OB-GYN, family medicine and psychiatry.

DeVito is excited to dedicate his fourth year of medical school to surgery and visiting rotations.

“I look forward to my visiting rotations. It should be a lot of fun to see how other hospitals and medical centers do things. One of the great things about NEOMED is that we go to so many different places. You get to see how things are done differently — for better or for worse. At the end of the day, everyone has the same goal of helping patients; they just have different way of getting there,” says DeVito.

That’s exactly why DeVito pursued medicine — to help people.

“I think most jobs we have in our world are to serve or help others. For examples, service jobs, such as being an electrician, being a carpenter, being a cable guy — medicine is the same. You are a service to your patient, but you get the honor of that patient’s health being what you get to help them with —something they quite literally can’t live without. I think the responsibility you have as a clinician is something that I really enjoy about the field. ”