Last night we were honored to have Dr. David Hilmers as our first presenter at the College of Allied Health Distinguished Lecture Series. Dr. Hilmers is an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Center for Space Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas. The list of Dr. Hilmers accomplishments is nothing short of incredible; Marine Corps colonel, aviator and electrical engineer and served as a NASA astronaut on four space shuttle missions, and international volunteer advocating for the global importance of the treatment for malnutrition.
Dr. Hilmers has seen more of the world than most people will in a lifetime. Despite being a brilliant, successful doctor, Dr. Hilmers is a humble man of God, dedicating much of his vacation days and funding trips to different countries to treat adults and children that are in need of medical intervention.
“It is never too late to fulfill your dreams.” This was the opening sentence to Dr. Hilmers’ lecture. At the age of twenty-six after spending a few years in the marine core, Dr. Hilmers wrote a letter to Baylor College of Medicine expressing his interest in pursuing a medical degree at their university. Baylor’s response was short: they did not agree with the ambitious aspirations of this young marine. Dr. Hilmers was not discouraged and he continued to be a dedicated marine, later to become a NASA astronaut.
Dr. Hilmers never lost sight of his dream to become a doctor. He began to complete the perquisites needed for medical school, study for the MCAT, and train for another tour to space. Dr. Hilmers is an inspiration to us all trying to juggle various responsibilities, and his legacy has proven with determination and dedication anything is possible.
Dr. Hilmers advocates tirelessly for global health, he states, “We all must take care of each other.” With less confrontation between countries and more cooperation we can achieve a level of environmental conscience that will reflect in infectious disease and health awareness.
During the Q & A time at the end of the lecture a student asked Dr. Hilmers what advice he would give to students working towards a medical profession. “Prayer goes along way,” was his response. These four words spoken by a medical doctor and NASA astronaut certainly hit home for me. Often time the road to success seems blurry and difficult; when all we need is prayer and dedication. God is good.
Health Science, Pre-Physician Assistant
Leadership Allied Health