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RMC welcomes new surgeon to staff

Published 12:17pm Thursday, July 25, 2013

Russell Medical Center recently welcomed a new surgeon to its staff.
Dr. Jennifer Mihalik, M.D., was appointed to the practice of general surgery, joining Dr. Jon Jones in suite 207 of the professional building adjacent to Russell Medical Center.
Mihalik, who officially started on July 1, is a native of Clemson, S.C. where she received her Bachelor of Science degree.
Having grown up around Lake Hartwell near Clemson, Mihalik said she was naturally drawn to the Alexander City area.
“I was previously living in Auburn, and I liked this area. Definitely having grown up on a lake in Clemson and experienced lake living, I was drawn here,” Mihalik said. “It was very convenient that it was already very close and to transition to a smaller hospital because I kind of like a more small-town feel.”
Mihalik earned her medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk before completing a general surgery residency at Carilion Roanoke Memorial hospital in Virginia.
While at Clemson, Mihalik was a member of the swim team, winning team most valuable player twice, being named a three time NCAA All-American, participating in the USA Swimming Olympic Trials and American Record 4×100 Freestyle Relay.
She said the intensive schedule that came with competitive swimming greatly prepared her for the challenges of being a surgeon.
“I didn’t make the Olympic team, so I had to move on with my life. I would say that swimming is very similar to being a surgeon in terms of the amount of time and commitment,” Mihalik said. “But being a surgeon is actually harder than trying to be a profession athlete because it comes with a lot more responsibility. It was an easy transition in terms of schedule, and I just kind of felt like it was what I was meant to do.”
Mihalik said being a surgeon is challenging because of the responsibilities of the job, chief among them is having to be available 24 hours a day in case of an emergency.
“Always having to be available – it’s literally 24 hour a day availability – is definitely the hardest part about being a surgeon,” Mihalik said. “But a lot of times people are very grateful that you helped them, and that’s what makes everything worthwhile.”
Mihalik said she has been settling in nicely and has enjoyed working with the hospital’s staff.
“I love being here. Already just in the past two weeks I feel like I’ve been treated incredibly well,” Mihalik said. “I’ve enjoyed everybody that I’ve worked with. I just truly feel blessed to have this opportunity, and I’m really looking forward to working with the people of Alex City in the future.”

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