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Dr. Julieanne P. Sees Is DO P.R.O.U.D.

September 01, 2022


Julieanne Sees, DO, MBA

"It is not easy to be a pioneer - but oh, it is fascinating! I would not trade one moment, even the worst moment, for all the riches in the world,” said Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, our first woman medical student, and so true for me! What somehow began as various seeds sown throughout my life’s garden soon flourished into this forever grateful, trailblazing girl growing our DO-Proud family tree. Although I had not known a female physician, orthopaedic surgeon or DO growing up, my humble heart beats in parallel with Dr. Blackwell’s captivation. Each moment I am privileged to serve with my personal feminine touch in the distinct, osteopathic philosophy, fulfilling my mission in life treating patients, mentoring trainees and leading nationally within the American Osteopathic Association, American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopaedics, American Osteopathic Foundation, National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and various other healthcare associations.

I cherish the wealth grown from osteopathic roots and cultivated from holistic skills further fueling the flame for generations to come. Never could I have planned such a path in life, and in the words of our most instrumental supporter of women in medicine, our founder of osteopathic medicine, Dr. Andrew T. Still, “Of what value is a mind when placed in the brain of a coward? If mind is a gift of God to man for his use, let him use it. A mind is not in use when doing no good.” Dr. Still accepted women in 1892 as equals to men in his first medical school, certainly understanding that osteopathic thinking housed in the brains of courageous women surely could only cultivate complementary crops of astounding importance for our profession and dignified care for all, transcending time and place throughout our world. Cheers to that! In celebration, I am honored to share a few treasures as a woman in medicine being distinctively DO P.R.O.U.D

Perspective as a woman often follows a passionate heart perfectly positioned as a precious strength. Growing up the youngest girl of an extensive Italian family in New Jersey, was my place in the kitchen? Of course, my grandmother would claim, of course, since that’s where we keep the knives! Starting at a young age, my family taught me the cultural traditions of our matriarchs alongside intriguing technical trades including championship pinochle skills of our patriarchs. Naturally, as years went by, my personal pursuits, whether in science, sports, public speaking and even surgery, to name a few, were positively promoted blind to stereotypical generalizations.

Resilience to aim for any dream is rooted in deep faith, trust in the Lord and steadfast service with moral courage to follow the Golden Rule: doing unto others as you would have done unto you. My guiding light has always been to serve humbly with my mind, hands and heart knowing as a single person, I may accomplish in my lifetime only a tiny fraction of what God may do while concurrently realizing that even if in darkness, we look up to the stars, which are always there, yet most brilliantly vivid in darkest of night.

The Oath we take as osteopathic physicians vows respect upon those who taught us while striving for best interests of those who follow. To be among very few women in orthopaedic surgery, neuro-orthopaedic expertise, physician leadership, healthcare business and scientific education, standing alone or in combination of these traits, is sincerely where I find incredible joy, obligation and exhilarating opportunity. To pioneer along these roads much less travelled, be it by many, let alone women or DOs, while further exposing the gem of a precious, feminine, osteopathic approach is rewardingly priceless.

Ultimately, Unwavering commitment to building our profession through continued life-long learning closely connected with advancing our osteopathic Distinctive philosophy, practice and science is where my mission as a woman in medicine makes me complete and naturally DO P.R.O.U.D.

Sharing my DO P.R.O.U.D. jewels, commonly sought out by diverse facets of our medical world, propels me to pioneer onward in an attitude of gratitude with loyalty in action, word and deed propagating rich wealth in health, well-being and harmoniously more women in medicine. The goal to serve humankind, being both human and kind, holistically in body, mind and spirit, is one of my prized blessings. Even in times of frustration and challenge, as a woman I have learned to take each turn in life’s labyrinth with positive optimism, robust determination, resilient persistence and even modest humility, knowing as part of my mission on this earth that I stand on shoulders of past legends, poised in perfect position for today, to enhance our legacy for pioneers tomorrow. I revere exceptional gems of our DO family including Karen J. Nichols, DO, our first female AOA President, and my past program director, Carl Mogil, DO, who both purposefully mentored me as a hardworking, respected, dynamic female DO to further promote our equal, meritorious advancement. In celebration we shine as diamonds of our profession, each perfectly flawed, and remembering diamonds are only made brilliant under pressure.