Alumnus attributes success in career, life to one word: balance

September 23, 2016

Jim Fedinec, C92, BiologyLisle, Illinios ~ As medical director of the emergency room at Valley West Hospital in Sandwich, Ill., and emergency ultrasound director at both Valley West and Kishwaukee hospitals in DeKalb, Ill., Jim Fedinec, M.D., knows a thing or two about balance.

It’s a skill he developed as a Biology student in the Scholar’s Program and as a student-athlete who participated in both track and football at Benedictine.

“Being a student-athlete teaches you to be organized and disciplined,” Fedinec said. “You only have a set amount of time, and you must have a prioritized schedule and agenda to accomplish everything.

“The combination of mind, body and spirit are what it takes to succeed,” he added. “At Benedictine, it was about more than studying books, it was about keeping your spiritual and physical worlds strong as well. Balancing and strengthening all three provided the stability I needed to succeed in life.”

Fedinec, C92, came to Benedictine after receiving several scholarships and hearing rave reviews from his father (Joseph K. Fedinec, C58) and brother (Joseph M. Fedinec, C92). While he gained an education that prepared him for a successful career in medicine, Benedictine is also the place where he met his wife, Jonelle (Mrozek) Fedinec, C94, Social Science.

After graduating in 1992, Fedinec attended medical school at Rush University, and completed his residency in emergency medicine at Advocate Christ Medical Center. Prior to his current positions at Valley West and Kishwaukee hospitals, he worked at Advocate Christ Medical Center, Edward Hospital and Northwest Community Hospital.

Fedinec doesn’t limit himself to practicing medicine, however. As an inventor, he is seeking to make his mark on the medical field with two U.S. patents.

One of his patents is for colored stitches, mirrored after the option provided to patients receiving a cast for a broken bone. The other patent is for a central line kit which integrates ultrasound equipment and tools to facilitate the placement of large central venous catheters in patients. The ultrasound-guided kit reduces the chance of error and greatly increases the speed and accuracy of the procedure, Fedinec said.

He maintains his relationship with his alma mater by attending events such as Homecoming and the College of Science Reunion. In 2016, Benedictine recognized Fedinec for his professional accomplishments with the Who’s Who Rising Star award.

Fedinec is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and is also a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer and registered diagnostic medical sonographer.

In 2006, he served as medical director for the PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club.

When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children — Jimmy, Amber and Lexi — and is an avid marathoner, having completed every Chicago Marathon since 2002.

While having dedication, drive and determination is crucial for success in both medical school and the professional world, it helps to know when to relax and how to have fun, he said.

“My advice to students would be to stay focused on your dreams and goals,” Fedinec said. “Keep the three pillars of mind, body and spirit strong. Work hard, but also enjoy your life, family and friends.”

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Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in 59 undergraduate and 23 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.

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