Husky Finds His Way Home — to UConn Sports Medicine

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Dr. Corey Dwyer isn’t sure he believes in fate, but that might take some convincing.

Two things he was passionate about while growing up were UConn basketball and becoming a physician.

On his way to graduating from UConn with a bachelor’s in molecular and cell biology, he got to experience the men’s basketball team capturing the national championship in his junior year.

When it came time to choose from among his many options for medical school, he stayed with UConn. It didn’t take long to realize orthopedics would be his calling.

group portrait, four women, one man, indoorsgroup portrait, four women, one man, indoors
Then first-year medical student Corey Dwyer (right) is now part of the UConn Health faculty, shown here with fellow students (from left) Sarah Cryer, Nicole Rubin, Ela Banerjee, and Willythssa Pierre-Louise. The five were members of the UConn chapter of the American Medical Association in 2013. (Greg Barron for UConn Health)

“One of the reasons I got involved so early was Craig Rodner, he became a mentor quickly,” Dwyer says. “Gus Mazzocca [then the chair of UConn’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery] and Robert Arciero, those two are sports legends, they got me working on projects with them early on. I was doing research in their lab, but they were also letting me work with them in their clinic or hop into their OR. Those three were influential for me in med school to go into orthopedics here.”

By his third year he decided to pause medical school and enroll in the UConn School of Business. He continued to do orthopedic research while starting the MBA program, then returned for his fourth year of medical school while finishing his business school studies.

By summer of 2017, holding a BS, MD, and MBA all from UConn, he started the next phase of his training, as a UConn orthopedic surgery resident.

“During Corey’s time as a trainee at UConn, we recognized his exceptional talent and passion for sports medicine,” says Dr. Katherine Coyner, who became another of Dwyer’s mentors. “His thirst for knowledge and willingness to work hard were evident even then.”

“One of the many qualities he demonstrated as a resident was his attention to detail, always trying to do the right thing, and a phenomenal ability to get along with patients, colleagues and staff,” Arciero says. “He is a thoughtful, caring, thorough surgeon with outstanding training in sports injuries and complex shoulder problems, and with extensive experience in team coverage at elite collegiate and professional level.”

After being either a UConn undergrad, medical student, MBA candidate, or resident from 2008 to 2022, Dwyer went to California for Stanford University’s sports medicine surgical fellowship. As part of that one-year program, he was on the medical staff for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.

He had planned to return to Connecticut to be near his family and start off in private practice. But his path would take a familiar turn. Upon his return to Connecticut to meet with a private group, he got a call from Coyner.

Dr. Corey Dwyer portrait in white coatDr. Corey Dwyer portrait in white coat
Dr. Corey Dwyer is an orthopedic surgeon at the UConn Musculoskeletal Institute, but was a Husky long before that. He has undergraduate, medical, and business degrees from UConn, and also is a graduate of UConn’s orthopedic surgery residency. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Photo)

UConn Health had a vacancy for a shoulder surgeon.

“It had all lined up, and it was kind of a whirlwind,” Dwyer says. “That was definitely a moment where I was thought, ‘This is surreal. This is my dream job.’”

Today, he’s four months into his tenure as a UConn Health sports medicine physician and orthopedic surgeon, working alongside many of his mentors.

“Now, as one of our brightest young partners, Corey’s expertise perfectly complements our team’s efforts to offer comprehensive care to athletes and individuals with sports-related injuries,” Coyner says. “He adds a new dynamic to the treatment of shoulder and elbow conditions, including complex rotator cuff tears as well as shoulder arthroplasty. His return is a homecoming that enriches our practice and strengthens our commitment to excellence in sports medicine.”

Dwyer describes himself as a sports surgeon with a focus in complex shoulder cases. He sees all levels of athlete, and those who want function back for their shoulder.

“I’ll do anything in the shoulder, but I’m also sports surgeon,” he says. “I am happy to take care of knees, whether it is an ACL or a meniscus tear. I am even well-trained in hip arthroscopy.”

“He complements our sports service with great training in complex shoulder reconstruction and total joint replacement,” Arciero says. “He has the ‘right stuff’ to complement our faculty and excel here.”

Dwyer’s many ties to UConn were too strong to keep him away.

“UConn Health represents academic medicine, where I think the educators put the patient and the trainee first,” Dwyer says. “All the staff, the nurses, the therapists, and everyone in the OR have always been great toward me, and I was very appreciative toward them, so I knew it would be a good environment to return. And on top of that, I’m a diehard UConn sports fan, so now I have the opportunity to take care of the athletes. It’s been a great experience so far and quite nostalgic to return home.”

 

Learn more about orthopedics and sports medicine at UConn Health, or call 860-679-6600 for an appointment.

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