Alumni Spotlight: UK Helped Dr. Cecil Find His True Calling - Otolaryngology
For more than two decades, Michael Cecil, MD ’00, R ’05, has served the Lexington, Ky., community as a physician committed to advancing the health and well-being of the Commonwealth.
Dr. Cecil is an eastern Kentucky native who completed his undergraduate degree, medical training, and residency at the University of Kentucky. His older brother graduated with a pharmacy degree at UK, and many of his classmates shared the same aspiration of becoming a Wildcat. “I didn’t even consider any other place to go for undergrad or for medical school,” he said.
Now, Dr. Cecil is a practicing otolaryngologist at the Lexington Clinic. He treats patients of all ages who have ear, nose, and throat (ENT) conditions and illnesses including middle ear surgery, ear infections, chronic allergies, sinus diseases, and head and neck cancers. “Really anything from the neck up,” he said, minus the care neurosurgeons and ophthalmologists provide. Sometimes Dr. Cecil’s work involves physical exams; other times it includes surgery.
While he was set on training at UK, Dr. Cecil didn’t initially expect to pursue his specialty.
“I thought I wanted to go into family practice,” he said. “When I rotated and shadowed people when I was in undergrad, mostly I’d shadow family practice. I really thought that was what I wanted to do, or maybe do internal medicine and go into cardiology.”
But in clinical rotations during medical school, Dr. Cecil was introduced to otolaryngology, and he began to realize how much he liked the complex anatomy, working with his hands, and the people involved. When he reflects on his time at the UK College of Medicine, he thinks of the relationships he built and the solid education that led him to find his true calling.
For current medical students, he recommends being open-minded about clinical interests.
“Look at every avenue, even though you feel like you know what you’re going to do,” he said. “Try to expose yourself early on because it really doesn’t take long in your first few years of medical training. You have to make a quick decision on what you want to do for the rest of your life.”
Along with serving as physician, Dr. Cecil is president of the Lexington Clinic Board of Directors. In this role, he has learned the business side of medicine. He said this is also valuable for a student to learn – whether that means going for an MBA or taking business courses on the side during undergraduate training.
Dr. Cecil remains an avid supporter of the UK College of Medicine as it works to train more physicians in Kentucky, for Kentucky. To help prepare the next generation of otolaryngologists, he keeps in contact with attendings in UK’s program and returns to campus for lectures and other speaking engagements.
Dr. Cecil does all of this because he is committed to caring for Kentuckians, and he recognizes the importance of the role he plays in his community.