Laura Kovalcik, D.O. worked in the clinic in its early years in 1991 and 1992 before she attended medical school. Through the years, Drs. Kovalcik and Downing often discussed how to improve patient outcome with nutrition, homeopathics and herbs. Dr. Kovalcik certainly learned by example because Dr. Downing is her mother.
Growing up, Dr. Kovalcik spent much of her time in junior and senior high school riding and showing horses. First it was a half-Arab named Sam whom she showed in 4-H. Then she owned and rode saddlebreds in saddleseat equitation. Her two horses were named Marengo and then X’s-Model. She worked with a veterinarian for several summers, riding with him to make barn calls for horses, and also in another small animal veterinary clinic.
She attended Stephens College in Missouri for one year before transferring to Michigan Technological University in Houghton where she earned a B.S. in Biology, graduating with honors. She trained and worked as both a dental hygienist and dental assistant before moving on to medical school.
Dr. Kovalcik was the third female in the family to graduate from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing. It was the first time a mother and two daughters had graduated from this college. She completed her internship at Genesys Regional Medical Center and then joined a traditional internal medicine practice in Flint.
Dr. Kovalcik developed a busy and devoted following of patients in Flint. After five years, she decided she wanted to work with people more interested in their own health and motivated to staying well rather than patients who simply expected a prescription for everything. She joined The Downing Clinic on a full-time basis and is extremely happy with this decision, for now she sees patients improve with simple and natural treatments.
The two doctors often went to conferences together down through the years, sometimes joined by Margaret Tirkes, D.O., Dr. Downing’s other daughter. These included American College for the Advancement of Medicine conferences on chelation, nutrition, chronic fatigue, cancer and other interesting topics. Others included American Osteopathic Association and Michigan Osteopathic Association conferences, as well as American Association of Environmental Medicine training courses for toxic metal detoxification, and environmentally related diseases.
Like her mother, Dr. Kovalcik always tries to use natural methods to treat, along with prescription medication as needed.