Allyson Howe, MD ’00, a physician for InterMed Sports Medicine in Portland, Maine, has been named team physician for Team USA Women’s Hockey, which will compete at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.
A native of Batavia, N.Y., Howe grew up a Sabres fan and wanted to play hockey when younger, but settled instead on basketball and soccer, a sport she played at the varsity level at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Howe entered the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences with plans to become an orthopedic surgeon. In her first year, her preceptor, Myron Glick, MD ’93, asked her if she had ever considered sports medicine, a specialty of family medicine. She was on the fence about changing her career plans, but recalled Larry Bone, MD, now-retired chair of orthopaedics, telling her, “You absolutely could be a good surgeon, but I feel like you would be great in family medicine.”
Howe credits both physicians with providing her the guidance and confidence to pursue her passion. She completed her residency in family medicine through her service in the Air Force and then was selected to complete a sports medicine fellowship through the Uniformed Services University from 2005-06. She then taught family and sports medicine for 10 years in the Air Force, initially at Andrews Air Force Base and then at Maine Medical Center from 2008-15.
Howe received numerous teaching awards during those years and was an assistant professor at Tufts, University of Vermont and at the University of New England. She has been a team physician for American University, the U.S. Naval Academy, University of Southern Maine, St. Joseph’s College of Maine and for the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League.
Howe began working with Team USA in 2010 as a team physician at the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship. She travelled to Sweden, Hungary and the Czech Republic with the U-18 team and went to the Sochi Olympics in 2014 as the doctor-on-call for the USA House, the team’s hospitality center.
In 2014, Howe was asked to coordinate all the medical aspects of the women’s hockey program, which put her on track to being named Head Team Physician. “This is truly an awesome opportunity, both professionally and personally,” she says. “I’ve worked with some of these women for nearly eight years and have watched them grow to become incredible athletes.”
Although this experience is professionally rewarding, Howe says she is just as happy to see patients through her practice in Maine, where she lives with her husband, Dave, and three children Lucy, Charlie, and Sam. Lucy plays on her school’s hockey team, and Howe credits the women of Team USA with being great role models for her and her other children. “Each member of the team works extremely hard, is very dedicated, is working collectively toward the goal of winning the gold and is doing everything in her power to attain that. Because of that, my job can be relatively easy at times. They are a well-oiled machine, and I just keep it running smoothly.”
Team USA opens up their pursuit of the gold medal on February 11 when they meet Finland.