Campus: Old Westbury Major: Osteopathic Medicine, D.O.
A discussion about career options led Lois Kroplick (D.O. ’82) and her sister to discover a common interest in medicine. They both decided to pursue psychiatry, and Kroplick became one of the first women to graduate from NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Today, Kroplick is a psychiatrist at the top of her field and has a private practice in Pomona, N.Y. “Going to NYIT was a life-changing experience, and not just academically,” she says. While the work was demanding, a fellow studentBruce Levitt (D.O. ’82)managed to lighten the mood. “He made it fun for me. We married in 1981 and were the first NYCOM couple to tie the knot.”
Kroplick’s practice takes the foundational osteopathic tenet of treating the whole persona touchstone of the NYIT curriculumand applies it on a community-wide scale. “Being involved in community groups and helping others have always been passions of mine,” she explains. After graduating and finishing her residency, she worked in hospitals, day programs, and crisis centersanywhere that mental health services were in great demand. “Anxiety and depression are treatable just like physical illnesses,” she says. “Early intervention and treatment are key for recovery.” After 9/11, she volunteered her time with Disaster Psychiatry Outreach, working 12-hour days on Pier 94 and providing free psychiatric care to grieving family members and relief workers.
Her commitment to helping the community is also embodied by the Mental Health Coalition of Rockland County, an organization she founded in 1996. Through the coalition, professionals, family members, and patients volunteer their time and participate in educational programs about mental illness. For her efforts to destigmatize mental illness within the community, Kroplick was named the 2014 Physician of the Year by the New York State Osteopathic Medical Society. “It felt surreal,” she says. “But seeing my family and closest friends and colleagues all in one room to celebrate this honor was exhilarating. It is a night I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Recalling her decision to pursue medicine, Kroplick thinks she made the right choice. “Being a psychiatrist is about helping people change their lives and giving them hope.”