“When I think about it, it fills my heart with joy and with pride,” said Eid, chief of UofL’s division of pediatric pulmonology. “And to have them in the same medical school with me is even more joyful.”
At the White Coat Ceremony, scheduled for July 26 at 3 p.m. at the Downtown Marriott (280 W. Jefferson), the UofL School of Medicine faculty and medical community members will formally welcome first-year medical students by presenting them with a white coat. The coats, a gift from the Greater Louisville Medical Society, are shorter than the physicians’ coats, and are worn until the student graduates from medical school. Once they receive their coats, members of the incoming class will recite the Declaration of Geneva, promising to serve humanity and honor the traditions of the medical profession.
Eid never assumed his children would follow in his footsteps. He encouraged them to pursue their own paths.
“We would sit at the dinner table and talk about what you want to be. I did not discourage them. I did not say ‘you should not be a doctor.’ But I never encouraged them, either,” Eid said. “I would tell them to ‘follow your dream; do whatever makes you happy.’ I never thought all three of them would go into medicine!”
Eid’s three children, Mark, Ryan and Sabine, each decided on a career in medicine via different routes. The eldest, Mark, originally set his sights on a career in economics or law. Sabine considered a career in broadcast communications. Only the middle child, Ryan, always knew he wanted to be a physician.
“I knew I would go into medicine since the third grade. Science was one of my passions,” Ryan said. “I also have always been interested in cultures and people and the world and travel. That took me to the University of Miami in Florida. It is the most diverse school in the country, so I have friends in China, the Cayman Islands, Europe and Africa.”
Mark enrolled as an undergraduate at UofL with a law degree in mind.
“I was a political science and economics major for my first two and a half years of college,” Mark said. However, he realized he missed science and appreciated his father’s relationships with his patients. So he backtracked to catch up on undergraduate science courses in preparation for medical school.
In 2013, both Mark and Ryan enrolled at UofL School of Medicine as members of the class of 2017.
Having also decided on a career in medicine, Sabine received her bachelor’s degree from UofL this spring with a major in biology, and will formally join her brothers in medical school as a member of the Class of 2019.
“I had the privilege of working with Dr. Nemr Eid on mutual patients with pediatric airway problems for many years. It has been such a treat to have his sons, Mark and Ryan, as medical students at UofL. Their strong intellect, commitment and altruistic spirit certainly came as no surprise,” said Toni Ganzel, dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “I’m delighted to see the Eid legacy continue at UofL and look forward to working with Sabine as she begins her medical school journey.”
Although they had individual mentors outside the family, each of the Eid children say their father inspired them to enter medicine through his attitude toward his work.
“He gets up every single morning and goes to work happy,” Sabine said. “He comes home every single evening happy. He loves what he does. He has never said anything negative. Hopefully, in the chapter I choose, I will wake up every morning and feel excited to go to work.”
They also credit their mother, Nada, for encouragement and support.
“She is a lawyer so she knows exactly what a rigorous curriculum is like. My mom has been there to help us through the tasks at hand from grade school and college and now med school,” Ryan said.
“Each of them has had a different journey that brought them to this day,” Dr. Eid said. “Each will have a different path that will propel them to their dream. It is up to them to follow that dream.”
About Pediatric Pulmonology – During his first ten years at UofL, Nemr Eid, M.D., was the only pediatric pulmonologist in Louisville. Although other physicians in his specialty now have joined him, a critical need for these physicians remains throughout the nation and in Kentucky, where there is only one pediatric pulmonologist for every 170,000 children. Under Eid’s direction, UofL began a pediatric pulmonology fellowship two years ago, but he hopes more physicians will pursue the specialty since those positions are not always filled.