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Business & Profession Retina, Business and Innovation

No Rest for the Dedicated

Why did you study engineering before medical school?

I wanted to be an engineer from a young age. My maternal grandfather, who I lived with during World War II while my father was in the Navy, was a mechanical engineer. He taught me to drive a car, to row a boat, and how to swim. He was a diesel engine designer, and when he took me to his work, I thought I was designing engines too! So I always knew I wanted to be an engineer – but I wanted to engineer something worthwhile. I could never have worked building machines that made cigarettes, or gambling machines or weapons systems. I wanted to be creative, and to do something meaningful.

My other grandfather, who died before I was born, was a famous surgeon, and his oldest son, my godfather, was a leading colorectal surgeon. My father was a college professor, an art historian and a fantastic lecturer. I’ve ended up doing all three: engineering, surgery and teaching.

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About the Author

Steve Charles

Steve Charles is the founder and owner of the Charles Retina Institute, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

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