While in college, Robert Flannery, MD (’06) assumed he would attend medical school near his hometown in Pennsylvania.But after an impromptu visit to the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC), Dr. Flannery’s path took a different course. And because of that different course, the successful AUC alumnus has worked with hundreds of athletes spanning the collegiate and professional levels, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Currently, Dr. Flannery serves as the first level of primary care at Lemak Sports Medicine & Orthopedics in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I could not be happier with the decisions that I have made that led me to Lemak Sports Medicine and Orthopedics,” Flannery says. “I’ve had the best seat in the house for a lot of athletic events. I’ve been courtside at Madison Square Garden for the Big East Basketball Tournament, on the sidelines covering college games in Heinz Field, the Superdome, Raymond James Field, and the Georgia Dome. The majority of the people that I take care of hurt themselves being active and they want to get back to activity as soon as possible. That is a stark contrast from the patient population that I took care of in general surgery or even in family medicine.”
Dr. Flannery even had the opportunity to work with the training staff for the Pittsburgh Steelers, an indescribable experience for a doctor with Pennsylvania roots.
While at St. Maarten, Dr. Flannery found time to volunteer often despite preclinical programs being rigorous, and attributes this experience to his personal and professional growth.
“I was very involved with the orphanage on the island and with raising money for them. It was certainly not all work and no play. I got involved with a darts league with some locals and got to see a side of the island that very few get to see…I wanted to explore and grow as a person, which I feel has improved my ability to communicate and gave me a better bedside manner,” Dr. Flannery says.
After completing clinicals, he started rotations at Union Memorial in Baltimore, MD, followed by experiences at Wycoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN, and Corilian in Roanoke, VA. He finished up rotations back at Union Memorial.
Initially, Dr. Flannery matched in general surgery at Union Memorial; however, he later decided to switch to family medicine with a sole purpose of practicing primary care sports medicine.
“Matching is one of the greatest experiences of my life,” he recalls. “I felt like I was holding my breath and my heart had stopped. Waiting for the email to load and then seeing ‘Congratulations you’ve matched!’ was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. It was a very cool experience.”
For any students who might wonder if AUC is the right fit for them, Dr. Flannery had this to share: “AUC means family. When you sit down with any alumni or current student, you know what they’ve been through and that is a common bond. Make sure this is really what you want to do with your life. You may have a bit harder row to hoe, but in the end, I feel it is more rewarding when you accomplish your goals.”
Dr. Robert Flannery is one of many successful alumni connecting with AUC today and sharing his story. We're proud to be a part of that success story.