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I have been lucky enough to travel extensively as I’ve grown up. The money I have saved as a result of performing magic professionally for the last thirteen years, not to mention the traveling which was a result of the performing itself, has given me a chance to see all different parts of the world, ranging from Paris to Prague. These travels, coupled with the fact that I have spent several summers with my church volunteering away from home, as far away as Costa Rica, have given me the opportunity to emerge myself in different cultures and shed all ethnocentric pretenses. One of my most memorable travel experiences, however, was the result of neither performing magic nor volunteer work. In 1998 I was flown to Europe by Los Angeles D.J. Rick Dees as a result of my turning down $50,000 and returning Mark McGwire’s National League record-breaking homerun ball that I caught in Miami.
The fact that I took three languages in high school, together with the benefit that much of the magic I perform requires very little in the form of verbal communication, has allowed me a chance to interact and communicate with people across these borders when I normally wouldn’t have been able to. As a physician, I believe that this ability to communicate and be understood is essential. My experiences performing and volunteering overseas, and with those within the diverse regions of the United States, have given me an education which is just as important as the one I have received at University. I have learned to work with people, many of whom did not share the same language as me, from all different backgrounds and cultures. These experiences will remain an integral part of my outlook on the necessary communication, both verbal and nonverbal, between doctor and patient.
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