Dr. Rebecca Domalski is no stranger to hard work on and off the field. While earning a doctorate in pediatric sports medicine, she joined a brand new women’s rugby team and program her freshman year of college. Starting from scratch and putting in hours of hard work, sweat and dedication, she helped lead her team to victory as state champions her senior year.
Today, she brings that same level of compassion, spirit of adventure and perseverance to her new role as pediatrician and sports medicine doctor at Akron Children’s. Blending her love of pediatric medicine and all-things-sports, Dr. Domalski will be splitting her time as a pediatrician float across our primary care locations and a team physician for a local high school football team.
“I am lucky to combine both of my true loves into one career,” she said. “Working with children is so rewarding, and my patients make me laugh every day. Plus, it’s hard to beat the feeling of those Friday night lights.”
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
When I first interviewed at Akron Children’s, I felt welcome right away. Everyone was so kind and I felt accepted as part of the family. After such a positive experience completing my pediatrics residency and sports medicine fellowship training here, I couldn’t imagine practicing anywhere else!
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish?
I will be a part of the float pediatrician group, so I will travel to various primary care outpatient sites in need. In addition, I will be a team physician for a local high school. This entails covering their home football games every fall, as well as holding weekly training rooms throughout the year to help treat student athletes with concussions or musculoskeletal injuries. I hope to serve the most needed communities during these uncertain times.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
My training is in pediatric sports medicine. I have always been passionate about primary care pediatrics and I really enjoy sports of all kinds. I am lucky to combine both of these together. Working with children is so rewarding, and my patients make me laugh every day. Plus, it’s hard to beat the feeling of a Friday night game.
Do you have a favorite instructor or mentor?
There are seriously too many names to fit on one page! But, my former dean in medical school many years ago said something my very first day of class that made a lasting impression on me. He said, “A humble doctor is a smart doctor.”
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
I hope that my patients feel comfortable and aren’t ever afraid to reach out with questions or concerns.
What’s the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is getting home to a big hug from my son, Charlie. He is 2, which is such a magical age. I love his zest for life.
What achievements are you most proud of?
As a college freshman, I joined a brand new women’s rugby team. We had to start from scratch, learning the rules of the game and how to play. It was a lot of hard work, but we ultimately made it to state championships and won the title my senior year.
What do you think is the hardest part of your job?
It’s difficult seeing children that aren’t feeling well, or telling an athlete that they will miss a part or even all of their sports season. It breaks my heart.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My family includes me, my husband, Nick, our son Charlie (2 years old, almost 3!), our dog, Hudson, and two cats: Lyra and Emma.
What’s your favorite quote?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” by Eleanor Roosevelt.
What are your favorite podcasts, books, movies or TV shows?
My favorite novel of all time is “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving.
How do you unwind from a busy day?
We love to be outdoors, so typically we go on family walks or hikes in the evenings and on weekends. We either walk around the neighborhood or check out a nearby Metropark.
What values are most important to you?
The values that are most important to me are compassion, good humor, spirit of adventure, perseverance and environmentalism.