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Expat to Repat: Ken-Ton native returns to his hometown to practice dentistry

Growing up in Western New York, Alex Miecyjak spent a lot of time at the dental office where his mom worked. That time spent at Westermeier Martin Dental Care in East Aurora ultimately influenced his career choice. After a start in business school at the University at Buffalo, Miecyjak realized it wasn’t for him. He decided to pursue dentistry, so he made the switch to biology.

Having lived in Western New York his entire life, he felt he needed to move away to grow.

After graduating from UB in 2010, the Ken-Ton native headed to graduate school at Temple School of Medicine in Philadelphia, then the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry.

“I think I needed to leave, I really did. Everything here was very comfortable,” said Miecyjak. “I had my little group, I had a lot of family, I had a lot of support.”

In 2016, he headed to the Eastman Institute of Oral Health in Rochester for his residency.

When Miecyjak was ready to begin his dentistry career, he had offers all over the country and the world, including Toledo, Ohio, Philadelphia and even Singapore. But the one place he wanted to be was back in Buffalo, working at the dentist office he grew up in.

“It was always kind of my dream to get through school and practice in their office,” said Miecyjak. He says he wanted to raise a family here, close to family and friends, where he would have lots of support.

“It’s a great place to kind of move to the next chapter of my life,” said Miecyjak.

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Name: Dr. Alex Miecyjak

Age: 31

Current location: Downtown Buffalo

Previous location: Philadelphia (2010-2016), Rochester (2016-2017)

Miss most about Philadelphia/Rochester: Philadelphia: The big city feel, a manageable city to get around, always things going on; Rochester: Similar feel to Buffalo, a lot of history, good hiking.

Love most about Buffalo: The friendly people

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The St. Joseph Collegiate Institute alum officially moved back in May 2017. He now works at Westermeier Martin Dental Care and lives downtown, enjoying everything the city has to offer.

On any given day you can find him enjoying the restaurants and nightlife on Elmwood, cheering on the UB Bulls, exploring downtown, spending time on the water, and walking with his girlfriend, Lauren, and her dog, Moseley, at Canalside.

Alex Miecyjak on a summer night walk along Canalside with his girlfriend, Lauren, and her dog, Moseley. (Photo courtesy of Alex Miecyjak)

“I’m definitely a water person,” said Miecyjak. “The water is a huge attraction for me, I have to be somewhere near water.”

He also loves visiting all the local distilleries and breweries now in the Queen City.

“I think the really awesome part about being back in Buffalo is seeing the growth and the development of all these local breweries, microbrewies, distilleries,” said Miecyjak.

Miecyjak is proud of being a Buffalonian and a St. Joe’s alum, saying it helped shaped him into the person he is today.

“Being from a city where people are so friendly and people are unassuming, I think that really kind of shaped me to being less judgmental and a little more understanding,” said Miecyjak.

While he missed being away from Buffalo for school, Miecyjak said he needed that time to grow and become self-sufficient. And that time away helped him see how the rest of the world lived, which was very humbling and helped him learn compassion for those less fortunate.

Alex Miecyjak with colleagues at the Kornberg School of Dentistry graduation in 2016. (Photo courtesy of Alex Miecyjak)

“There are so many different levels of living in this country. Growing up in suburbia, in one of the suburbs here in Buffalo and going to a private school, you kind of don’t get to see the full picture of how everyone else lives,” said Miecyjak, who worked with a wide array of patients during his time in Philadelphia and Rochester.

For Miecyjak, he is back home where he belongs, with a few extra skills and a renewed passion for the city he loves.

“I’m really happy being in Buffalo,” said Miecyjak.

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If you or anyone you know has a story to tell about moving back or to Buffalo, or about moving away, email alison.russo19@gmail.com.

Alison Russo grew up in the Southtowns and lives in a suburb of Kansas City with her husband, Joe, and their two children. She works as a freelance writer and public relations/marketing specialist.

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