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Anita Bodrogi

By Justine Parkinson | Photo by Ty Kretser

Issue: October 2022

Hometown: Plattsburgh, NY Family: Husband Glenn Lyons and son John Education: Graduated from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2001 Occupation: Family practitioner at INHEALTH Family Medicine in Plattsburgh

Anita Bodrogi’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Hungary in 1957 and originally settled in Chicago. The Midwest is where she and her siblings were born, but the family came east for her father’s work – first at General Electric in Albany and then as an chemist at Imperial Wall Covering. It was that post that introduced 10-year-old Anita and the Bodrogi family to Plattsburgh.

As a young adult she left the area, originally to see her name in lights on Broadway, but fate had other ideas. Inspired by friends, Bodrogi shifted her attention to medicine, graduating from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2001 and completing her residency in New York City. She is board certified in Osteopathic Manual Medicine and Family Practice.

Doctor Bodrogi came back to Plattsburgh in 2004 to lay down roots in the town that gave her wings and is now the owner of INHEALTH where she supports the use of alternative therapies including Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Reiki, Massage, Yoga, Meditation, Cognitive Therapy, and Physical Therapy.

Following are excerpts from Strictly Business interview with Dr. Anita Bodrogi.

SB: What inspired you to choose your profession?

AB: Initially, it was a practical consideration. I was living in New York City. I was an actress and trying to be a performer and a dancer, but I was 30 years old and didn’t have a career that was going to feed me. I thought about physical therapy, but as a result of a couple of inspiring people along the way, I ended up becoming an osteopathic physician. It is very well suited to my philosophy and my orientation.

SB: What important lessons did you learn early in your career?

AB: There is place for everyone. Osteopathic and allopathic providers have been working alongside each other all the while. If our intention is in the right place and we work with integrity, there is a contribution we will make. There is a doctor for each patient. You can’t please everyone, so you do your best and the patients that are meant to be yours will end up in your practice.

SB: What is the best advice you ever received?

AB: It was from my dad. When I first got my business started, I was on a lunch date with him and he asked how it was going. I said “It’s good, but oh my god the paper!” He just looked at me and said, “Learn to love your paper.” And I thought, “He’s right.” I could have hated the administrative component of running the business, but then I would have hated it every day and who wants to live like that. It was very sweet and just his way of gently encouraging me. It was really what I needed to hear. He was an immigrant, and his spoken English was curious but he made sense to me.

SB: Tell us about your approach to management and leadership.

AB: I can answer that with an example. My practice is fortunate enough to have a phenomenal Office Manager. When she became pregnant, we decided that the best thing for all of us would be if she could bring her baby to work. It was good for her. She didn’t want to choose between coming to work and being away from her baby and she didn’t have to. The practice didn’t have to go without our manager, and the baby got to be close by and socialized. If someone in the office needed a little “pick me up” we had the cutest little antidepressant right there! And now, another administrator is growing her family. We’re going to have another baby here and it’s just great. I know not every office can offer this to their employees, but for us, it works and I’m so happy we do it.

SB: What does success look like to you?

AB: Being able to experience contentment and being okay with what that is.

SB: What are you most proud of professionally?

AB: What I am most proud of is that we have been in business for not quite 15 years and we didn’t go under! I’m independent like a few other practices in town and I think we should all give ourselves a big pat on the back because the corporate environment of medicine is not easy. Not only have I made it, but I’m in a group with other independent physicians that have really supported each other. We’ve not only found a way to thrive, but to be happy in our practice of medicine.

SB: If you could talk to your younger self, what advice would you offer her?

AB: Everything ends up just fine, really good in fact.

SB: If you could start your professional career over again, what would you do differently?

AB: I don’t know that I would do anything differently. I made the decision to go to medical school later in life. I didn’t even have an undergraduate degree, so I started with a biology degree. I had a really inspiring professor and when I shared my physical therapy plan with her, she asked, “Why don’t you become a doctor?” I said, “Because I’ll be 41 when I finish my residency and she said, “Well, you are going to be 41 anyway.” I had never thought of it like that before. Dr. Bleyman was a genetics professor in my undergrad program at Baruch College in New York City. I think of her fondly and often.

SB: If you could have dinner and spend an evening with any wellknown person, living or dead, who would you choose and why?

AB: It would be Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathic medicine. He was so far ahead of his time in terms of understanding the physiology of the body, things we now understand in great detail because of all of the diagnostic tools we have. But he was describing some of those things back in the early 1900s and he was experiencing them through his understanding of anatomy, physiology and manual palpation. There is a wonderful biography called A.T. Still: From Dead Bone to Living Man that details how the science of osteopathy grew out of his frontier experience. The book is well written and highlights the brilliance of this man. It is a true American origin story.

SB: What is something no one would guess about you?

AB: That I didn’t start out as a super studious or a bookish student. I’m a bit of a free spirit, but if I make up my mind to do something, I’ll get it done. Turns out I’m a great student when I’m ready.

SB: How would you like to be remembered?

AB: That I helped. That I made a difference and that maybe, just maybe, the world is a better place for my having been in it for a short time.

SB: What do you believe the North Country community should do today to ensure a prosperous future?

AB: Recognize our gifts. Full disclosure, I am the Facility Health Service Director at a federal prison. I went there with a lot of judgments and attitudes. I’m a nice liberal doctor going up to this law enforcement environment full of people who have had very different experiences from me. What this experience has done for me is to reminded me how we are all doing the best we can. We do have similar goals and needs and pain and suffering and all come from different backgrounds and yet we all work together. I know it’s a prison, but the lesson is for everywhere. The North Country is this beautiful place that we all share. There is a lot of natural attraction that keeps us here. I think that reminding ourselves of that could just make it a happier experience all around.

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