After a week of hard work and processing a lot of information, everything started to take form after a motivating interview with Dr Perfect. Dr Perfect is one of the best Infectious Diseases specialists. He joined Duke University’s Infectious Diseases department as a new fellow in 1978. This was perhaps the highlight of greatness of a man who had worked hard to achieve his goals.
Dr Perfect made it clear that he succeeded through his ethos of hard work over relying on talent. When I asked him how he got to where he is, he smiled and poured all wisdom until I could not help but smile as well. His path was lit in the 8th grade when his mother visited his school to meet with his teachers. She was surprised to hear that her son was talented enough to be “whatever he wanted to be.” In the discussion, young John Perfect fell in love with the idea that he could be a physician. He had been to his family doctor and he liked what he saw. His path was set and he knew what needed to be done, “to put in as much work as l can.”
His path to greatness was evidently not easy. Dr John Perfect was the first in his family to go College. He excelled in his college studies before proceeding to a medical college in Ohio, his home state. In medical school, Dr Perfect left his mark as one of the best students. His name remained at the top of the results board. It was a product of his passion and sleepless nights. When he graduated from med school, ‘’the janitor bought him a farewell gift’’ because they had developed a relationship during his long study hours. He was committed to his vision for greatness, “I wanted to be an Albert Schweitzer.”
Dr Perfect’s career took a turn on the 14th of February 1978 at 11:09 when he solved a case while doing his rounds. He found cryptococus neoforms – a fungal pathogen that can affect immunocompromised people – in a patient’s specimen. His research was essential after the discovery HIV which left many people immunocompromised and susceptible to infection by crypotococus. Dr Perfect took to the lab after two years of further training in the field of molecular biology. Today he continues to study the pathogenesis of cryptococus neoforms on a molecular level. His lab aims to establish metabolic pathways that are vital and unique to cryptococus neoforms which can be used as targets for drug development.
My interview with Dr Perfect opened my mind at many levels. I saw my story in his; I witnessed the power of commitment, passion and hard work. There are no heights too high to reach if one is willing to put in the work.