Paying it Forward
After completing her undergraduate studies in Boston in 1998, Nicole Maguire (D.O. ’03) didn’t want to stray too far from home in New Jersey to continue her education, so she chose the College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) to pursue her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
Hesitant at first and questioning her career choice because of the amount of financial debt she would have to ensue in order to achieve her goals, Maguire says she was given some of the best advice during her NYITCOM interview, which put everything in perspective: “Would you hesitate buying a house?” Maguire remembers her interviewer asking. “I said, ‘No, because you’re going to yield from that investment,’ and he said, ‘You’re making the safest investment in yourself and your career.’”
Today, Maguire is the program director for Emergency Medicine Residency at Community Medical Center at RBWJBarnabas Health in Toms River, N.J., and she shares that investment and a wealth of experience with the residents in the program. She joined the hospital in September 2020, and by 2021, Maguire had already welcomed her first class of 12 residents in emergency medicine. In the past two years, Maguire taught a number of NYITCOM students at the hospital and offered grand rounds and served as a mentor.
“We’ve had some NYITCOM students come to Community Medical, and we’re hoping to take more,” says Maguire. “I’m still involved with the school because NYITCOM produces really great physicians.” She adds, “I’ve been lucky to have a very successful career, and it’s all been based out of the school and the hospitals they were affiliated with along the way.”
Prior to joining Community Medical, where she continues to work as an attending physician, Maguire served as the osteopathic program director of emergency medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center from 2009 to 2019. There, she also served as the associate program director from 2015 through 2020 and emergency medicine clerkship director from 2007 to 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Maguire was still working at Beth Israel, one of the hardest-hit hospitals in New Jersey and witnessed everyone on staff coming together as a team, covering the intensive care unit, emergency room, and developing a working inpatient structure. She joined Community Medical during the second wave of COVID-19. “When you get into those crisis mode numbers, you have to work hard and work longer hours,” says Maguire. “You’re in full PPE (personal protective equipment), and you’re trying your best to separate patients without having the room to do it. Our residents at Community and Newark Beth Israel were phenomenal and very easily adaptable, but that’s the course of emergency medicine. You adapt to whatever you need to in order to provide care.”
Still working with residents, Maguire is helping start a GME (graduate medical education) program at the hospital. “I love that I’m able to start a program with my own ideals and develop the culture that I believe should be used,” shares Maguire. “I can take the great stuff that I learned and leave what I didn't think worked behind.”
Now, she’s working with her latest class of residents, who have been published and presented nationally and regionally. “Developing the curriculum,” adds Maguire, “and seeing how they've grown so much over the past year has been so rewarding.”