Cleveland auto mechanic becomes doctor at age 51, inspires others to pursue their dreams – FOX 10 News Phoenix
(Photos courtesy: Dr. Carl Allamby/Cleveland Clinic)
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Many people have taken interesting paths to the field of medicine. Dr. Carl Allamby’s story is different from most, however.
Allamby’s journey to physician started with a dream as a child in East Cleveland, something he never forgot, even when he opened his own auto repair shop.
“While thinking about the things we hold dear to our hearts, I think our health, our families and friends and our cars rank high on the list,” Allamby told Fox News Digital in a recent phone interview.
“When any of these fail us or suffer loss, emotions run high — and life as we know it can be turned upside down.”
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But the journey for him from longtime auto mechanic in Cleveland to dedicated medical professional was far from easy.
Allamby’s family moved to a small suburb of East Cleveland in the mid ’70s, because it was one of few areas where his parents could afford to buy a home.
Decent-paying jobs were difficult to find, so his minister dad started working as a door-to-door salesman, while his mom stayed home to raise the family, which included his five siblings.
“We faced economic hardships throughout my upbringing and were on welfare for what seemed to be my entire childhood,” said Allamby.
He recalls many days or weeks that his family went without lights, gas or water.
“And if not for government handouts,” he said, “we would have been without food on many occasions.”
Allamby added, “I remember having a desire at a young age to become a doctor — but my life circumstances led me to a much different place.”
Allamby also told Fox News Digital, “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.”
Dr. Carl Allamby during his many years as an auto mechanic. For a long time, he struggled to make ends meet. But he never forgot his childhood dream of becoming a doctor. (Photos: Dr. Carl Allamby)
He went on, “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 precedence over studying and getting good grades.”
Allamby also said that “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,” he said, under his circumstances when he was growing up.</…….
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