Medical matters

Medicine was the topic of conversation between Notre Dame students and alumni working in the medical field.

An eager group of Notre Dame Prep students were on hand Feb. 1 in the school's media center for the latest edition of the Alumni Career Speaker Series, sponsored by the Notre Dame Alumni Association. Friday's session, the 10th such event, revolved around careers in medicine.

Mike Kastler, a Notre Dame alum from the Class of 1975 and a member of the association’s board of directors, moderated the discussion between students and two other alums who have become successful in the field of medicine: Dr. John Putnam NDP'03, and David Knesek, D.O., NDP'99.

Brief bios of each of the alumni speakers are below.

David Knesek, D.O., orthopedic surgeon at Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Medical Group; clinical faculty member at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine

A co-valedictorian at Notre Dame Prep's Class of 1999, Knesek graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2003 with a degree in science business.  Following graduation from UND, Knesek did a one-year service project in Puerto Rico, running a homeless shelter/rehabilitation program. Upon completion of his service year, he started medical school at MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine where he graduated with honors in 2008. Knesek then completed a five-year orthopedic residency through the St. John Providence Hospital System, graduating in 2013. He then embarked on a one-year fellowship in adult reconstruction through the University of Chicago, finishing in 2014. 
Knesek has been in practice for more than four years an specializes in hip and knee replacements and complex revisions and limb salvage surgery.  He is currently also working for the DMC and is affiliated with the orthopedics DMC residency program and its adult reconstruction fellowship. He also continues to serve as a clinical faculty member within MSUCOM. Knesek mostly operates at Detroit Medical Center Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township, but also runs an inner-city clinic where he operates out of Sinai Grace in Detroit. Knesek is married to Michelle Legacy, D.O., who is a dermatologist practicing in West Bloomfield. They have two children, Madison and Jameson, 6 and 3 years old, respectively. 

Dr. John M. Putnam, PT, DPT, FIT, Cert. DN, Cert. SMT, owner, founder and physical therapist at Back To You Osteopractic Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation in Royal Oak, Mich.

A graduate of Notre Dame Prep's Class of 2003 and class president, Putnam received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor '07. He followed that up with a doctorate from the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 2011, and earned his diploma in Osteopractic from the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy in 2017. He currently is a fellow in training through the AAMT and will become a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists in March. Putnam is the only osteopractor in metro Detroit and one of only 250 worldwide. He specializes in dry needling and spinal manipulation therapies. He started his own practice this year and runs two clinics called "Back To You Osteopractic Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation" alongside his fiancée, Laurie, who is an occupational therapist.

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at