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Interpersonal Skills and Exposure to Other Areas of Study Played a Hand in His Success

John Feder ’80 Shares How Beta Pi Helped Him Make It as an MDThough John Feder’s college and PiKA years account for only 10% of his adult life, he says they still account for 30% of the stories.

Some of his favorite memories include:

Bobby Ball ’78 thwarting his class pledge prank to remove the front door
• Penn basketball games and grabbing the Princeton mascot costume head
• Monday Night Football hot dogs and "beverages"
• Comedy Night Fundraiser featuring Henny Youngman, Richie Minervini, and Bobby Nelson
• Road trip to University of Delaware
• Returning to the house the night of the Jim Jones golf tournament

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 with a degree in Biological Basis of Behavior, John received his M.D. from New York Medical College in 1987. He then did two years of surgical training at (then) Cornell Medical/New York Hospital, one year of research in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Albert Einstein/Montpelier Medical Center, and then four years of Orthopedic Surgery Residency, graduating in 1994. Those years were followed by a one year fellowship in Foot and Ankle Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery. 

Today, John is in private practice at Orlin and Cohen Orthopedic Associates. Having been there since 1995, he’s an original partner in the group that has grown to eight offices in Long Island, NY. He’s also been able to share his knowledge, having held teaching positions at Northwell Health, New York Hospital Queens, South Nassau Communities Hospital, and St. John's Hospital.

Though his studies are what got him where he is today, John’s success is also due, in part, to his PiKA experience. That’s why he still gives back to Beta Pi.

“My fraternity experience enriched the academics at college,” he says. “The social aspect of living and working in a group helps develop interpersonal skills that are valuable in all real life situations.”

He also attributes his success to exposure to other brothers’ areas of study. If it weren’t for the fraternity, John may not have been surrounded by such a unique group of individuals with different skills, which taught him valuable lessons outside of the medical world.

“My non pre-med classes were concentrated in business courses in the Wharton School and my roommates at PiKA, David Berkman ’80 and Greg Sembler ’80, are both successful businessmen,” he says. “That background and exposure has been invaluable in growing an Orthopedic surgery practice in a challenging healthcare landscape. I have tried to duplicate the comradery, organization, and competition from my PiKA experience in my practice.”

John stays in touch with the brotherhood through Slices of Beta Pi and emails. He’s also grateful for the efforts of Jeff Kaufman '80 and Ross Weiner '80, who organized the annual dinner in NYC for ’80s brothers.

“Several of my brothers also live in Westchester where I grew up and have overlapped with some childhood friends,” he says.

John’s also passed on a passion for the fraternity experience to his children, likely because they’ve accompanied him to homecoming football weekends and had opportunities to visit the fraternity house in the past.

“Currently, my oldest son is a sophomore at Duke and is in a fraternity too,” he says. “My youngest son is a junior at Syosset High School and will be applying to college in the fall. U of Penn is high on his list.”