By day, Allyson Howe (MD ’00) is a teaching physician in family and sports medicine at Maine Medical Center in Portland. By night, and on weekends, she’s the head team physician of the U.S. women’s under-18 hockey team.
Six years ago, Howe sent her resume to USA Hockey at the recommendation of a colleague at the Maine Medical Center, who also worked for USA Hockey as a strength coach. “After a year or so, I was asked to go to Sweden for the under-18 World Championships,” says Howe, a native of Batavia, N.Y. The team won gold that year, and Howe has been part of the staff ever since.
Of the many benefits of the gig, Howe mentions foremost the thrill of working with great athletes. “It is so satisfying to take care of people trying to be as physically and mentally healthy as they can be,” she says. The travel isn’t bad either. In addition to Sweden, Howe has traveled to the Czech Republic, Finland and Hungary with the under-18 team, and attended the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia through contacts she had made with the United States Olympic Committee.
Most events, though, are closer to home—and, for Howe, a family affair. Her stay-at-home husband and three kids are “super fans of the USA team and love the players,” she says. “It’s a mutual relationship—the players and staff members look for the kids when I’m at an event and can’t wait to play rock/paper/scissors with my youngest, or talk hockey with my older son and daughter.”
Howe is now looking forward to travel that’s closer to home—and close to her heart—when the new HarborCenter in Buffalo hosts the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship in January. “I love Buffalo,” she says. “Being there for medical school was awesome. I can’t wait to show the World players what a great hockey town it is.
“And of course,” she adds, “I’m going to take them out for some real wings. They think they’ve had them before, but we know the truth.”