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Nicole Becker Katz ’16

May 15, 2024

For Dr. Nicole Becker Katz ’16, an interest in medicine and anatomy was intricately tied to her love for dance that began in early childhood in her Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, home. Skidmore allowed her to pursue both passions equally.

Nicole Becker Katz ’16“I didn’t want to have to pick one or the other in college, and there were very few places that could support me in the same way that Skidmore could,” says Dr. Katz, who created a self-determined major in dance science. “Skidmore has such a special Dance Department, and there is a strong foundation of sciences that allowed me to apply competitively to medical school.”

Dr. Katz is now a resident physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the official teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School’s PM&R Department. Her training covers both hospital and outpatient care, with a focus on recovery after various musculoskeletal and neurological injuries, including sports injuries, brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations, and critical illnesses. Her ultimate goal is to provide medical care to athletes, especially female athletes and dancers.

Katz completed graduate school at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and her internal medicine internship at Harvard Medical School’s Mount Auburn Hospital. Recognized for her strong leadership skills and medical expertise, she recently served as the academic chief resident physician for her residency program, which involved organizing training sessions and lectures, facilitating research opportunities, and overseeing the educational progress of fellow residents.

At Skidmore, she conducted undergraduate research with Sarah DiPasquale, associate professor and chair of the Dance Department. The research, based on tracking the injuries of dancers at Skidmore, culminated in a published peer-reviewed paper and presentation at the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science Conference. Dr. Katz also received a Skidmore SEE-Beyond Award, which funded a paid internship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City to study the biomechanics and repair of fatigue-damaged tendons.

“Sarah DiPasquale was an incredible mentor, and the research was so impactful,” says Katz, who has since co-authored nearly 20 published papers and has written chapters in several books. “Skidmore truly allowed me to explore my interests to the fullest extent possible as an undergraduate, which has contributed in so many ways to where I am now.”

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