Joining the Chatroom (pre-Zoom), I found a smiling Dr. Pranav Amin (our guest speaker) staunchly defending his orange tie against a gang of WVRC members. He even told an MD joke before the meeting started!
PP Chris then launched into the story of his long-time WVRC job of Onboarding Graduate Scholars, with equal help from PP Michael Newman, arriving in LA from dozens of various far-flung homes overseas. This is where he met 25-yr-old Dr. Pranav Amin on his first journey away from India as the recipient of a RI Graduate Fellowship to study Ophthalmology at UCLA. Unlike many of our scholarship applicants who pursue Dispute Resolution or World Peace, etc., Dr. Amin knew exactly what he wanted: to work under Dr. Simski at the Jules Stein Institute at UCLA where he would be trained to perform a new cataract surgical technique that was not available in India. He knew he had an incredibly rare opportunity and promised himself he would apply himself to help the largest number of patients, regardless of compensation.
Grateful to Rotary for his internship, he returned to India where he applied for an RI grant to bring the equipment to India and create an operatory center for this procedure. RI approved the grant, but somehow it was not possible to complete the project without a large bribe to an Indian government official. Unfazed by this failure, the Dr. decided to emigrate with his family to the US to fulfill his personal vow and he has, indeed, already completed more than 10,000 cataract surgeries in the US, another huge number pro bono in African countries like Ethiopia and trained more than 100 ophthalmologists in this technique. Each of these surgeons also promised to train at least one more surgeon, and it is now utilized in 80% of all cataract surgeries worldwide.
When Dr. Amin applied for his first position in the US, he opted for Yuba City, a town north of Sacramento. He said it was the only position that agreed to allow him a three-month summer vacation with his wife and daughters. Here is a man who loves what he does, work or play! Perhaps he can slow down and eat lunch soon, or at least take a bathroom break, as his youngest daughter is near finishing her studies at UCLA. With the older two graduates of Stanford and Harvard, he freely gives 100% credit to his wife, but claims a genetic donation.
Sometimes, his straight lines are funnier than his jokes! The good doctor then answered all of our cataract questions at warp speed. I must admit that I learned more from him than from three other ophthalmologists whom I paid!
President Chris exhorted us all to root for our Bruins on Thursday night, but Fortune smiled on the Zags on their last jump shot from way behind the 3-pt arc, reminiscent of an even longer, and luckier shot by another Zag only two years ago that beat our Bruins in the semi-finals. The odds don’t matter-this is March Madness!
Special thanks to Jim crane for leading the Flag Pledge, and PE/PP Steve Day, warming up for his promotion in July, stole some Thoughts of the Day from Poor Richard, pseudonym for Ben Franklin: He that lies down with Dogs rises with fleas; Well done is better than well said; a Stitch in Time….