By SHERIDAN ROY
A familiar face to many in town, internal medicine specialist and Southington High School class of 1988 graduate Dr. Craig Bogdanski always knew he wanted to return to Southington after medical school.
“I knew from day one of medical school that I wanted to come back and practice in Southington. I wanted to be one of those old fashioned docs who treats their community,” said Bogdanski. “I wanted to be an old-school, hometown physician.”
His commitment to his patients earned him several awards including two awards from the University of Connecticut, the Pamela Kisluk spirit award and the medical intern of the year award; the presidential service and Sidney Simon Wards New York College of Osteopathic Medicine award; and Rettger, Beta Beta Beta and Sigma Xi Chapter Leonard awards from Quinnipiac College.
Most recently, Bogdanski has been inducted into the Southington High School Wall of Honor.
As a young student working toward his doctorate, Bogdanski was inspired by other hometown doctors Eugene and Anthony D’Angelo, Francis Gura, Ryan O’Connor and Reuben Thalberg.
“They were the mainstay of town physicians, and I always had an unbelievable admiration for them. I wanted to be like them,” said Bogdanski. “Southington is an interesting medical community where you still have that hometown medical feel.”
“We’ve been together since high school. She stuck with me all throughout high school, pre-med, she moved down to New York with me during med-school, stayed with me all throughout residency and moved back to our hometown with me,” he said. “She is probably the most positive influence on my life.”
The couple was drawn back to Southington because of their own experiences growing up in town. Bogdanski said he noticed many of his fellow SHS alumni did the same, and said it’s “a tribute to the town.”
“I think… you grow up here, have a good childhood and upbringing, and you want your kids to have the same. It’s a natural evolution of that,” he said. “What better way to come back to town and have our kids have the same experiences we had.”
The accomplished doctor offered a word of advice to current students: it’s all about work ethic.
“I believe everyone has the ability to do anything they want in life. It just depends how much time and effort you put into it,” said Bogdanski. “I don’t think certain people are inherently smarter than others. Some things may come easier to some people, but if you strive to work hard, you can do anything anyone else is doing.”
For Bob Brown, who leads the organization of the SHS Wall of Honor, adding Bogdanski to the list was an easy choice.
“He was a student of mine many years ago. I remember him as a quiet but academically gifted student,” said Brown. “His selection to the wall is based on many factors: his professional achievements, the fact that he has received several academic awards as he progressed through his higher education, and the fact that he even went on the be a teacher of future doctors. He is very deserving.”
Follow along in upcoming Southington Observer editions as we sit down to profile the rest of the SHS Wall of Honor inductees in 2019: Barry DePaolo, Dawn D’Onofrio, and Matt Galka.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.