To all my students
Many people ask me why I want to teach when I can make more money practicing as a doctor. It's as if something is wrong with teaching. I often think of the TV commercial where the parent tells his child to be something special like be a doctor or a lawyer and the child says he chooses to be a teacher because that's where doctors and lawyers come from. There is nothing wrong with doing something you love but, there is definitely something wrong in choosing a profession for the wrong reasons. The person who chooses a career for money or prestige will certainly have difficulty finding happiness in life.
I have practiced for 20 years now and continue to practice along with teaching. It is something I love to do and always wanted to do since I was at least five years old. Teaching and research have always been areas that have held special interest to me and I have been involved in those areas as well most of my life. Actually, I have been a teacher longer than I have been a doctor. Most of my teaching has been to medical students and college students studying various health sciences.
When the opportunity arose for me to be able to help establish an EMT program and teach medicine to high school students at Rancho High Academy of Medical and Allied Health, I was elated. In order to do so, I earned my teaching degree in secondary sciences in two semesters while serving as a full-time teaching intern with all the duties of a regular teacher. I maintained a 4.0 average in school while at the same time continuing to operate full-time clinics in Summerlin and Green Valley! This is how dedicated I was to becoming a teacher and helping students learn medicine. Why go through so much for a position of lesser pay and prestige? A love of teaching for one and a love for students of high school age that want to do something with their life. I love helping them in my practice and now have the opportunity to help them achieve success and greatness in their lives.
My son, and only biological child, died from an injury largely because nobody could help him until EMTs arrived which was too late. To be able to help students very close to his age at the time of his death is a very significant way to do something in his honor and I have already seen several cases where my students have saved lives of family and friends because of their training received through this program.
As Christmas 2001 was approaching, I lost my father who died due to medical mistakes and mistreatment. I was very close to my father and his death was very traumatic to me. My students were, by far, along with all my adopted children, the most understanding and supportive group of people around me during my period of grief. They gave me the strength to get though it all and be able to help others who were also grieving. Shortly after this, I discovered that I was suffering from aserious spinal condition that threatened to take me out of teaching, at least for a period of several months. Once again, they came to my emotional rescue and offered me every kind of assistance and support imaginable. It was through them that I mustered the courage to face the surgeons and to gather the strength to suffer through the remainder of the school year in great physical pain so that I could ensure them the best medical education I possibly could. Adults, especially teachers can learn an awful lot from their kids if they open their eyes and ears, not to mention their heart and mind to them.
Those adults who lack faith in today's youth or criticize them need to talk to me before they form any negative opinions. I trust them and have more respect for my students by far than I do for most adults. I know that they care a lot about me and the world around them and, if my house were large enough, I would adopt the whole lot of them. When I speak of them as "my kids", it's not just a figure of speech. I love and care about them and want to help them become the great successes they can become and achieve their maximum potentials. It's only fair since they have taught me so much, cared for me, helped me, and have given me much strength, faith, courage, and have shown me the path to greater success and potential.
P.S. An education is priceless. The caring and support you have given me during some very trying personal times is also priceless. To all of my students, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me, how much you have taught me, and how proud you have made me. Words cannot express my true gratitude but priceless is a pretty good description of its' value to me.