Dr. Susan Milani: Listening to the Body
“The awareness of yourself is what I take from being a dancer. I feel that I bring what I had in dance to my patients and to my students as well.”
Dr. Susan Milani, Chair of the OMM Department at TouroCOM, discovered osteopathic medicine through a unique route: professional dancing.
After college, she began acting and dancing for modern dance companies in New York. On the side, she taught Experiential Anatomy and Movement Therapy at NYU, and conducted advanced anatomy-based movement trainings for dancers. “I always taught dancers how they could prolong their career by understanding their body,” she says.
Then, when she began considering returning to school for an advanced career, she heard about osteopathic medicine from her dance instructor. “I thought I had come home, because it incorporates all the principles I had been working with, of structure and function as a dancer.”
She earned her medical degree at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, doing her residency in the Department of Osteopathic Medicine at St. Barnabas Hospital. She began teaching at Touro while developing her private practice in Experiential Anatomy and Movement Therapy.
“I believe that the intangible thing we give our students is that ability to listen… and in osteopathic medical school, we listen with our hands as well as our ears and our eyes. So we put our hands on the patient and we listen to what their body says.”
This is Dr. Susan Milani’s story.