An auto mechanic, who opened his first shop when he was 19 years old, took a new career path in his 50s by becoming a medical doctor. In an interview with Fox News, Dr. Carl Allamby said he piqued an interest to pursue a career in medicine during his childhood.
But Allamby, who is from Cleveland, came from humble beginnings. “We [his family] faced economic hardships throughout my upbringing and were on welfare for what seemed to be my entire childhood,” Allamby said.
“And if not for government handouts, we would have been without food on many occasions.”
Allamby said that though his desire during his childhood was to become a doctor, his “life circumstances led” him to a “much different place.”
“As you can imagine, the situation my family and others in the neighborhood faced led to significant despair. While I’m sure our teachers at school tried to educate us as well as they could, the multitude of challenges a lot of us faced made our educational aspirations secondary to the fulfillment of our basic needs,” he added.
“From my own experience, it is very difficult to focus on your education when your mind is filled with challenges outside the walls of the school. Food insecurity, safely making it to and from school, affording decent clothing and basic school supplies or just trying to fit in took precedent over studying and getting good grades.”
Describing his inability to initially pursue a career in medicine, Allamby said: “The trajectory toward medicine and other white-collar careers takes a constant focus on education, exposure to the desired occupations, enhanced curricula and having representative examples to model oneself after. All these things were either non-existent or unreachable [as he was growing up].
“My saving grace was our strong family structure. My siblings and I always stuck together and weathered our hardships as a team,” he added.
Allamby also said that his mother and father “always taught us the value of working hard for what we wanted and never giving up on your dreams, no matter how improbable. Most importantly, they taught us to treat people fairly, with dignity and respect.”
Allamby initially gained admission at Ohio’s Ursuline College in 2006. Then 34, the medical doctor initially wanted to earn a business degree. But as a course requirement, Allamby had to take a course in intro biology, FOX News reported.
“Learning about some of the incredible basic functions of the body reminded me of my childhood ambitions to become a doctor,” Allamby said.
He eventually took pre-med classes at Cuyahoga Community College in 2010. Allamby said his desire to pursue a career in medicine stemmed from his infatuation “with the way things worked — and the human body seemed to be the most complex of anything I encountered, which always fascinated me.”
“After my decision to pursue medicine, I started volunteering at a hospital in the Cleveland area,” Allamby said. “Initially, I worked in a pediatric ward for immune-compromised children, providing activities for them during their often long-term stay.”
“In addition, I performed many hours of shadowing and volunteering in the emergency, urology and neurology departments at this and other hospitals,” he added.
“Every exposure I had in medicine further solidified my choice to pursue a medical career.”