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Unsung: Peter DeMarco

Unsung: Peter DeMarco
September 25, 2015 No comments

After growing up in Connecticut, I went to college in Baltimore, MD and spent some time with AmeriCorps working at an AIDS Adult Dependent Care Facility after I graduated. After that I worked in the Center for TB Research at Johns Hopkins and I was fortunate to get accepted to medical school and start this summer.

When I was working as medical liaison at an AIDS adult dependent care facility, I got much closer to each of the ten people that lived there as I worked with them to manage their health. One woman in particular was generally an easy-going and happy person, but during my time there had begun to develop cataracts in both eyes and it began to really bother her. Due to an unfortunate accident leading to a death in her family, she was very uncomfortable with any type of surgery and refused to get her cataracts removed. As her vision got worse, her primary care doctor and I tried to ease her into the idea of the minimally invasive, routine procedure that quickly restore her sight. After months of convincing, she finally decided to have the procedure done. She was so thrilled at how clear her sight was that she was walking around singing Johnny Nash’s “I can see clearly now” for weeks after she recovered. As frustrating as the months of convincing this woman to go through with this surgery may have been, it was more than worth it to see how happy she was to have her sight back.

When things get difficult, what keeps you going?

When things get difficult I usually lean on family, friends, classmates to get me through, but also I try to keep in mind the larger goal of what I’m working towards. It is so easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the core of why you do what you do. When working to serve people, I try to think of how important my role can be in someone’s life, and how simply having a friendly conversation can make all the difference. With that in mind I know that I can do so much more as long as I work through whatever challenge I face.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your position?

I would tell someone starting in my position to learn everything possible and chose to be an active participant and effector in the future. As soon as you decide that you want to be a part of making a difference, you’ve already begun to do it.

Why did you choose to be where you are today?

I chose to go into medicine for many reasons, but most importantly to work directly with people to improve their health and well-being in any way that I can. A person doesn’t have anything without their health and in our world today, there are too many people that go without having those basic needs met. I want to be a part of the solution to that problem.

What does “Crafting Wellness” mean to you?

Crafting wellness to is the process of working towards a better state of being. Through this process, I think it’s important to learn as much as you can about what each individual needs for their own wellness and work with them towards that goal. We often take for granted how fortunate we are and in many cases it would take little effort on our part to help craft someone else’s wellness. Most people would choose wellness and all they may need is a small boost from us.

– Peter DeMarco, 25, First-year medical student, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Unsung, is a feature MDF proudly brings to the MDF community highlighting the incredible MDF’ers who are truly #CraftingWellness. We hope to inspire, encourage, and connect humanity by sharing the stories from the thousands of anonymous individuals whose imprint can be seen in the lives of countless others.

Posted in: blog