Linked by a common interest, and separated by 50 years, two members of the Trinity-Pawling brotherhood recently met in New York City to discuss interests, passions, and things that make the heart beat. In fact, these two men met at the Mid-Town Hilton where Dr. Demenkoff was attending The Heart of Manhattan, a cardiology conference hosted by The Mayo Clinic. Dr. Demenkoff ’66, an internist and Pulmonologist at Mayo Clinic Arizona, had flown in from Phoenix to attend the conference and Hitoshi M. ’17 made the trek from Pawling to meet him.
“Let me see your hands.” asked Dr. Demenkoff. Hitoshi wants to study medicine and eventually become a heart surgeon. “There is artistry involved in surgery. You have to have a creator’s hand; one that is precise.” Hitoshi listened intently and then showed the doctor a small book of illustrations he had made for his Winter Project. Detailed drawings of internal organs and parts of the body make up the pages and somehow, Hitoshi has made them look beautiful. The doctor carefully considered the work and the conversation turned to medical illustration. “Do you know Frank Netter, the great medical illustrator? You should see his work…and find a copy of Grey’s Anatomy.” The book, not the TV show.
John Demenkoff came to Trinity-Pawling from upstate New York because his parents, “…had a dream for me. They wanted to open up a pathway for me to have experiences they, perhaps, hadn’t had.” And Hitoshi came from Japan because his parents have a similar dream for him.
Hitoshi asked Dr. Demenkoff if he had a particularly fond memory from his time at Trinity-Pawling. The doctor, who had recently returned to campus for this 50th Reunion, remembered being a pulling guard on the football team. In a scrimmage against Loomis, though small compared to most of the opposing players, he managed to flip a Loomis safety head over heels with an open field block. He wasn’t sure what he had done until his advisor, Mr. Cole, rushed the field and congratulated him with great enthusiasm. “The people around me recognized my accomplishments.” He paused and said, “Trinity-Pawling creates opportunities to be successful and provides a supportive environment. My experience there gave me the confidence to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.” Dr. Demenkoff went on to Bowdoin where he played football and lacrosse. He then went to Dartmouth and then to Harvard Medical School, where he graduated with honors. At age 55 he decided he’d also like to study Humanities and earned his PhD.
What advice does he have for Hitoshi, who is headed to Boston University in the fall? “At Trinity-Pawling one develops an internal authority. You learn how to manage yourself and your time. Don’t get distracted. You are entering a competitive field. And never go to sleep before your work is finished.”
He read a few quotes from Aphorisms, a collection of quotes and words of wisdom from Charles and William Mayo, the founders of The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He had brought the book as a gift for Hitoshi. And then, he graciously, inscribed it: “My advice is to always be curious and never fear exploring new worlds.”
Take a look at Hitoshi’s book of anatomy illustrations.