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Tell us a little about your background. My parents are Eastern European and I’m a first-generation immigrant to the United States. I grew up in northern Illinois and didn’t go to college right away. In fact, I didn’t even finish high school. I left halfway through my senior year, because I thought school was kind of irrelevant. I wanted to get out into the real world and make money. I was an electrician for many years. My faith became very important in my early 20s, and I felt God had a plan for my life that included more education. I wanted to become a doctor, so I went back

January/February 2016

to school. I wired houses during the day as an electrician while attending community college at night. Fourteen years later I finished as a board certified anesthesiologist from the University of Wisconsin. I became a partner in an anesthesia group in Rockford, Illinois, got married, and we had four children. Everything was going well. I had pretty much accomplished my dream, which was to become a physician. Practicing anesthesia—cardiac, trauma, obstetrical, neuro-anesthesia… —was very rewarding. I enjoyed it for about 50 to 60 hours a week, but some weeks required me to work even


Networking Times Jan/Feb 2016 preview