Alumni Spotlight

COLLEGE OF SCIENCE & MATHEMATICS

Alumni Spotlight

Michael Coletta, M.D., walked into Cooper Hospital emergency room this June as an emergency room resident. The first time he walked into Cooper’s ER, however, it was as a son.

“In 2007, Cooper saved my mom’s life,” Coletta explains.

His memory is fuzzy on who, exactly, cared for his mom. “I was just so worried about my mom that I didn’t pay that much attention to everything around me,” Coletta says. But, one thing stuck with him: Cooper was the best emergency room in the area for trauma.

Coletta always knew he wanted to be a doctor. He cites his Rowan undergraduate studies in biochemistry as key to preparing him for his career. “The major gave me the background information I needed to be successful in medical school. It taught me how to be a student,” he says.

As a freshman, Coletta met with Rowan’s pre-health advisor and the department chair of biochemistry before declaring his major. After a brief stint as an engineering major, Coletta wanted to make sure that he had found his “home” academically. And, he did.

“It just felt like everyone was on the same path. That we all felt that the same things were important,” Coletta says of his then-newfound major. “The department gave me more guidance than I could’ve ever imagined.”

When it came time to apply to medical schools, Coletta was prepared. The idea of becoming a part of Cooper Medical School at Rowan University’s inaugural class appealed to him. “I liked the idea of putting my stamp on something new and being a part of something creative, as the program is built,” he says.

Coletta’s first medical school interview was with Cooper. From Cooper he received his first offer. He then canceled all interviews with other medical schools and accepted Cooper’s offer. “South Jersey is home to me,” he says. “I wanted to stay here.”

Four years later, he graduated with Cooper’s first class of newly minted doctors. He will complete a three-year residency in emergency medicine, also at Cooper. From there, Coletta may pursue a fellowship in toxicology or wilderness medicine as he continues to grow his career.