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Training for the Future: LVC Alum Now Athletic Trainer for PennMed

Lebanon Valley College athletic training graduate Michael Dueck

This past spring, LVC celebrated the graduation of the first cohort of students from the five-year Master of Athletic Training Program. Among these recent graduates is Mike Dueck ’18, M’20.  

When Dueck first began his collegiate search, he knew that he wanted to pursue a degree that combined healthcare and athletics but struggled to find a program that fit his interests. After learning about LVC’s five-year program, Dueck knew that he found the college for him. 

“LVC was one of the first schools to offer an accelerated master’s program,” recalled Dueck. “The culture of LVC presented an opportunity to receive direct teacher-student interaction, become involved with campus organizations, athletics, and activities outside campus.”

Thanks to the College’s dedicated faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and opportunities for hands-on clinical experience, Dueck completed several clinical experiences and placements at many levels and locations. Some of these locations included Milton Hershey High School, Cedar Crest High School, Lancaster General Health, PennMedicine, Bates College in Maine, and LVC.

Dueck had many responsibilities during these placements and experiences, ranging from shadowing and observing an instructor to hands-on learning through direct athlete interaction, and even history-taking, evaluations, rehabilitation, and return-to-play decisions. 

“While at Milton Hershey, I connected with student-athletes who did not always come from a solid home or upbringing,” reflected Dueck. “I formed friendships so strong that by the end of the placement, I was truly sad to say goodbye to some of them. That, to me, is something you cannot replace.”

Inside the classroom, Dueck’s studies correlated with all that he was doing in his clinicals. He credits his professors for instilling a sense of hunger and passion for knowledge within him. 

“LVC’s professors are some of the finest,” said Dueck. “They are professionals who have been recognized for their achievements at the local and national levels. They care for their students’ education and always look for ways to deepen our understanding of the profession.”

Through connections that Dueck formed during his clinicals, he recently accepted a position with PennMedicine LGH as an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach at Octorara High School, as well as an athletic trainer in the PennMedicine LGH orthopedic Sports Medicine clinics. 

Although he is unsure of where the future will take him, Dueck trusts that his passion for helping others through the healthcare field will guide the way. To any emerging or exploring athletic training student, Dueck has a few words of reassurance.

“Try to enjoy your experiences, but recognize when something might not be right for you. Know that it is okay not to enjoy an experience. Learn from it, and enjoy the next one.”

 

-- Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant