Dr. MB: Keith Monchik ’90 – An inspiration on and off the field
Dr. Keith Monchik ’90
Squash team captain, Model UN representative, volunteer, parent, board member, student and assistant trainer … orthopaedic surgeon Keith Monchik has played many roles over the years at Moses Brown. He’s been on campus in one way or another since he joined Moses Brown in 1983, as a new sixth grader. Keith has been involved as a student, an alumnus, and now a parent, juggling roles as an active school volunteer in addition to his work at Ortho Rhode Island in Providence and Warwick, teaching at Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School, and serving as a consulting physician for the PBruins, local colleges, and the R.I. Interscholastic League. On top of his professional roles, Keith has attended hundreds, if not thousands, of MB sporting events to care for the MB community, which he does with both care and sincere enthusiasm.
Keith’s path to his current position, however, is not exactly what might be expected.
Keith first started volunteering for Moses Brown after he graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 1994. He joined the Alumni Association in 1996; newly returned to Providence, he was looking to reconnect with the school which had been “a huge part” of his life.
Keith was actually a government major in college, building on interests he explored while at MB, where he was very involved in the Political Affairs Club, Model Legislature, and Model UN, with deep interests in history and government.
In college, Keith gained exposure to ER medicine through work in public health, interning for his U.S. Senator in Pennsylvania with a focus on healthcare policy and the primary care system. After college, he began working with legislation and the community health program in Lancaster, gaining exposure to the world of ER medicine. He had already started working in the field, working as an EMT and then a paramedic.
Keith found he liked taking care of people and eventually made the decision to go to medical school, five years after college. Still he says the seed was probably planted at MB. Keith played football and squash all four years of high school at Moses Brown (and went on to play in college as well). In the spring, without a sport to play, he worked as a student athletic trainer, and says that’s where his interest in medicine was piqued.
After medical school, Keith completed his residency at Brown University, receiving the prestigious Haffenreffer House Staff Excellence Award. He also taught in the paramedic programs at Memorial Hospital. Keith served as one of the original members of the R.I. Disaster Medical Assistance Team for many years and been a part of many federal disaster responses, including to the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City and the Haiti earthquake. This past spring, he was recognized by the Rhode Island Athletic Trainers Association, for his continuing service to the state, as the RIATA Frank Murgo Service Award 2022 recipient.
Over the years, Keith continued to maintain his connection to MB, even serving a stint as clerk of the MB Alumni Association from 2012-15 and has hosted alumni events, served on class reunion committees, and is an active admission volunteer.
Of all of his different roles, Keith says the one that would have to be the most enjoyable for him is serving as the team physician on the football team. “Spending two hours on a sideline every Saturday is my most enjoyable time of the week. Most of these players would never play professionally or even in college but show up and give it their all, and bond by working together as a team. Being the sideline doc – that’s my favorite time. It is the most relaxing two hours of my week every fall!” he comments.
Keith is also the parent to two MB students, Emmeline and Nathan, and says it’s been ‘phenomenal’ to have his children here: “It’s been wonderful to watch how the school has changed over the years since I was there.” Both started in nursery and are on their way to being 15-year “veterans.” “It’s been incredible to watch their growth and the school’s growth at the same time.” Emmy has even joined Keith on the football sidelines, as his junior assistant.
Keith says that academically, Moses Brown taught him how to assimilate a large amount of information in a short time span and how to analyze and apply knowledge, and says he values the school for the sense of community, social responsibility and world-class teaching found here, then and now.
As a member of the board of trustees, Keith is serving on the Enrollment & Marketing Committee and doesn’t hesitate to deliver a ready MB pitch to anyone who’ll listen: “I tell people, your kids are going to get an excellent academic experience at Moses Brown. Diversity, community, Quaker values – they all make up the place. You’ll also get a community you’ll become a part of. There’s no metric for that; it’s hard to put into words. MB will bring out the best in your child.”
It may perhaps be unclear what roles he has yet to play here but Keith will be ready regardless. “I love the place. Any way I can help, I will,” he says. “I am willing to try to help Moses Brown.” Keith is always a phone call away from Joyce Freeman (still on call as the athletic trainer’s second, it seems) and also recently consulted on the new Fitness Center. “I’m a big fan and happy to pitch in.”