BY KAREN L. BROOKS
To say Michael Ciminiello’s family shares a passion for baseball would be an understatement.
Long Island, N.Y., natives and longtime Yankees fans, Ciminiello and his three brothers all played Division I college baseball; their sister played Division I softball. Ciminiello served as team captain his junior and senior years at Princeton and, upon graduation, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and played in the organization’s minor league system for a year.
But then, medicine called.
“My interest in medicine actually goes as far back as my interest in baseball,” Ciminiello says. “My dad’s a dentist, but he didn’t push me into med school. However, my parents always held our family physicians in high esteem, and that rubbed off on me. You gravitate toward what you respect.”
Ciminiello says he always knew medicine — not baseball — would shape his “real” career. He chose to leave the single-A New York Penn League so he could complete the prerequisite courses needed for medical school and entered JMC in 1998. A year later, his brother, Angelo, followed. “I enjoyed Jefferson from the start, but having my little brother right behind me made the experience just that much more fun and exciting,” he says.
Although both men practice orthopaedic surgery today, Michael initially pursued another specialty, cardiothoracic surgery. He matched for a residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center but quickly felt unfulfilled in the position. After realizing cardiac surgery wasn’t the right fit, he returned to Jefferson for a residency at the Rothman Institute, where he stayed on for clinical fellowship.
“I am still incredibly grateful for that opportunity to come back, so much that I almost stayed on as an attending and became a Jefferson ‘lifer,’” he says. “But the pull of my entire family back home on Long Island was just too strong. Home for me is wherever my family is.”
Ciminiello now performs all procedures related to adult hip and knee reconstruction, focusing primarily on replacement surgery at the Krauss Center for Joint Replacement at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, N.Y.
“Orthopaedics makes sense for obvious reasons, given my background in sports. But I also like doing procedures that are going to change people’s lives in a significant way for the long term. Joint replacement surgery allows me to help people in a way that I know is going to be reliable and produce results that patients can see and feel every day,” he says.
Outside of work, Ciminiello spends most of his time with his wife, Noelle, and their four children. He remains an enthusiastic baseball fan and, thanks to his positive experiences in Philadelphia, often roots for the Phillies — “unless they are playing the Yankees.”