What Students Really Need to Hear [Video]

An incredible reminder to keep studying!


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Last December: The Start of My Ocular Predicament


I kept feeling myself get tired earlier during nights of work and studying. My eyes just seemed to ache while looking at a computer screen. I’d rub them and rub them to no avail. I would continue with my emails and Powerpoint slides until my eyes teared from fatigue, similarly to how they feel right now. I told myself nothing was seriously wrong, that these symptoms were part of being an industrious Pre-Med.

As per family custom, on Sundays I attended mass at our local parish. One Sunday I thought I was seeing two of the priest. My vision returned to normal within a few moments, so I mused I simply stayed up too late the previous evening. The day went on without any other doppelgängers.

The same thing happened the following two Sundays, then during the afternoons and evenings. This problem of diplopia (seeing double) was becoming more frequent, and I was scared. Nervously I told my mom what I’d been experiencing. ¬†One week before my medical mission to Haiti I had my first optometry appointment…





Two Big Problems…Really One, But It Looks Like Two

What’s it like to be a helpless patient? What do you do when as a patient you feel like a burdon to your family?
What’s it like to have a medical problem without having insurance?
What’s it like to know you can’t pay for the treatments you need, but you’re too sick to go to work?
I have been thinking a lot about these questions over the last few months because in Febrauary I was diagnosed with estropia. (Read about it here.) This condition causes diplopia, AKA seeing double.
These thoughts and more will be discussed in a series of posts this summer. My story is one of thousands in the U.S. I just pray that this blog will enlighten some future docs and make their hearts compassionate.

Multiculturally Competent or Ignatian?

“Diversity is not a virtue rather it’s a phenomenon.” -Dr. Paul Porter, Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Scranton

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to engage an incredibly knowledgeable and fun professor at the University of Scranton about the cultural dynamics of our campus. Here are some of our findings.

Diversity shouldn’t be a badge of completion or certificate to say that you’re multi-culturally competent. Rather it should be a way to live, to interact with others who may be a little bit different from oneself. Dr. Porter made me think of Levinas and his ability to see the other. What does the other provide me as an individual? The other makes me aware of my own difference from them, but it’s not preoccupation with our desire to understand why we’re different. I desire to know everything about the other person for the other person’s well-being. This focus then is a relationship with the other person.

Ignatius and the early Jesuits recognized that to introduce our Christian faith and ethics to the rest of the world they didn’t just try to be multiculturally competent. They believed they needed to live in solidarity with their new missions whether they were Portuguese ministering to the Gurani or Matteo Ricci to the Chinese. As ambassadors different cultures, these Jesuits including St. Francis Xavier, the most famous missionary of our Church, these Jesuits believed that to reach the people they needed to not just be men for others, but to be men with others.

So the focus then turns to us: What is your story? How do we make your story into an Ignatian story? An Ignatian story with understanding, compassion, and passion for those who come from different circumstances than us, whether financial, racial, ethic, or religious. How do we build a world of peace and justice? I’d say to remeber the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola: “Love is shown more in deeds that in words.”



From the Mouths of Babes

A mom I babysit for texted me today. Someone called their house today. Seems like a normal occurrence, until her little girl of 4 asked, “Mommy, what color are they?” This got me thinking: when do our children start to notice the differences in sex, race, ethnicity, and behavior? This proudly Italian family won’t even root for the U.S. in the World Cup if Italy has any chance of succeeding, so the kids clearly understand what it means to be Italian, loud talking included. But when do they notice the individuality of each person? Another instance of cura peronalis needed.



An Appointed Time for Everything

I am blessed to say that HPO has truly blossomed this year into a recognizable force on Scranton’s campus. We’re not just a bunch of neurotic science nerds. Sure, we drink way too much coffee #addictsnotanonymous and spend inordinate amounts of time in the library, but we love to have fun too. So this summer before I begin medical school at PCOM I intend to have fun and stop thinking so much about work. I plan to reflect on my last four years at Scranton and why I wanted to be a doc in the first place. While I figure it out, I hope you enjoy my rants.