If things go according to plan, Erin Broderick will add the initials D.O. to her resume, along with the abbreviation L&O.
Broderick, 26, a former regular on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," is a first-year student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. The path that led her from New York City to our shores is an inspiring tale about how to tap into your passions to pursue a rewarding career.
In his Op-Ed column on July 29, James Rutkowski Jr., general manager of Industrial Sales & Manufacturing, wrote about the need for Erie to find skilled workers for the future. Rutkowski referred to a book by Jim Clifton, chief executive of Gallup Inc., called "The Coming Jobs War," in which a poll reveals that around the world, the strongest desire is for a "meaningful job."
For Erie to provide enough meaningful jobs, Rutkowski said that Erie has to size up employers' needs and make sure that young adults are trained for those job openings.
Rutkowski wrote his column for Erie Vital Signs, a collaborative project of the Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership, the Erie Community Foundation, United Way of Erie County, the Nonprofit Partnership and Erie Together. But Rutkowski could also easily have referred to the meaningful work that his company is doing in building the full-body scanners used for research on the Kanzius cancer treatment.
The late John Kanzius enjoyed a meaningful job in broadcasting, starting as the chief engineer at WJET-TV at age 22 and rising to become president and general manager. Now Kanzius is remembered for his invention that targets cancer cells with radio waves. Kanzius wasn't a medical researcher, but his ability to use his intellect and imagination to switch gears, from radio engineer to inventor, is meaningful to everyone seeking an alternative, noninvasive treatment for cancer.
Broderick changed direction at a much earlier age than Kanzius, who died in 2009 at age 64. At age 10, she was hired for a commercial. She then worked for 13 years in films, ads and soap operas, eventually landing the role of Maureen, the daughter of star Christopher Meloni, on L&O. "As a kid, it was all play and fun," she says about the acting business. "As an adult, it's an extremely competitive business. It's still fun, but you have to say, 'There is a level of success I may never achieve.'"
Working as a nursing assistant in college and her parents' and four siblings' medical careers influenced her decision to become a doctor. She quit acting in 2008 for a pre-med, post-baccalaureate program at Columbia University.
Erie is a good choice for med school. "I wanted to go somewhere with a calmer environment so I could focus on my studies," she says. She wants to work in health policy, with HIV/AIDS patients or on access to health care in high-poverty areas.
Perhaps she will find her meaningful work in Erie, and thus add to our brain gain.
- Erie Times-News