Dr. Lucy Morizio’s connection to orthopaedics began long before she joined CHOC as director of the Orthopaedic Institute.
A self-described daredevil as a child, when Lucy was 5 years old, she fell off her swing set and broke her fibula – a bone in the lower leg. She didn’t know it at the time, but this experience would ultimately impact her career path.
Lucy’s parents brought her to a local emergency department for an X-ray, where doctors noticed her bone was indeed broken, and put a cast on her leg.
However, a few weeks later her dad noticed the cast looked crooked, so they went back to the emergency department. Another X-ray showed that her bones were not properly aligned, so she needed to be re-casted.
She wore a new cast from her groin to her toe for a few more weeks. Her total time spent in the casts was around eight weeks — which felt like an eternity in the midst of summer vacation.
When her cast was removed, she began physical therapy and aqua-therapy to regain the strength and coordination she had lost.
“My therapists were amazing; they would make paper dolls with me after sessions—there were no iPads for kids like there are now,” Lucy said.
Then an almost-Kindergartener, Lucy had already developed an interest in healthcare at a young age. Her mom volunteered at a hospital, and her uncle was a gastroenterologist.
“I had an amazing experience with my therapists, which propelled me into the healthcare field. I already had a passion for it, and my experience piqued my interest.”
Lucy eventually became a podiatrist, then transitioned into the newborn screening program and later to the administrative side of healthcare. Today, she is responsible for the strategic planning and growth of CHOC’s Orthopaedic Institute.
“My experience in breaking my leg steered me towards pediatrics because the doctors and physical therapists made it a good experience,” Lucy said. “They had a certain charisma in dealing with kids. They had a different – and unique – approach to patient care. I’ve tried to take that with me.”