It was a fateful summer in 2013 when my dear friend showed me a CT brain study, revealing his father’s ongoing battle with intracranial hemorrhage. Something about the lesion troubled me. I proposed a further assessment through an MRI with contrast. Woefully, the results unveiled the presence of a hemorrhagic glioblastoma multiforme (GBM): a perilous brain tumor. Several months later, as the leaves fell gracefully from the trees, his father’s journey on this Earth came to an end.
Hard work can teach many incredible skills, such as patience, perseverance, and, most importantly, falling in love with your work. I have been deeply fascinated by human anatomy for as long as I can remember. As a child, I would spend hours flipping through the pages of my parents’ anatomy textbooks. This curiosity, combined with a desire to care for the sick, ultimately led me to pursue a career in medicine.
I was born in Peru in a small town called Nasca. Peru is a beautiful country with lots of natural resources and wonderful people, but disparities in its society are obvious and tangible. I felt them firsthand as a child born into a low-income family. We struggled financially, and I never had much growing up, but the one thing I never lacked was motivation. I wanted to work hard to build a better future for myself than my parents could have ever imagined.
From as early as I can remember, my family physician inspired me to help others. His ability to care for everyone in the community, from old to young, left me in awe. It became my life goal to follow in his footsteps. Before entering medical school, I knew I wanted to become a family physician. After all, growing up in Oracabessa, Jamaica, a very rural community, that was the only type of doctor I knew. Fast forward to now, years later, I have traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to complete my residency training to become a family physician.
In 2010, as a young and ambitious medical student, I found myself at a crossroads in my career; I was considering leaving my home country of India to pursue advanced medical training in anesthesiology in the United States. A decade later, in 2020, I was presented with a remarkable opportunity to serve as the program director of the anesthesiology residency training program at The University of Toledo. My passion for anesthesiology and my experience as an international medical graduate (IMG) led me to take this role supporting aspiring physician IMGs, like I once was.