Sometimes a single event can change the course of our lives, leading us down a path we might never expect. For physician assistant Alain Legend Raymond, it was the terrorist attacks that took place on Sept. 11, 2001.
Prior to September 11, Raymond was a filmmaker. He received formal training at the Orlando International Film School, and then went on to pursue his dream in Los Angeles. After a year in LA, he had to return to Orlando for a family emergency. On September 11, Raymond was at work when he learned that terrorists had hijacked four planes, causing the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans.
Raymond decided to put aside his career as a filmmaker to join the military. He enjoyed the creative world, but the tragic events of that day stirred something deep inside of him.
"I questioned why so many lives had to be lost," Raymond reflects. "After September 11, I felt that I should be more involved in the affairs of the world around me. I needed to be part of the hand that changes the world, and I joined the U.S. Navy thinking I could make a difference."
Raymond was sworn into the U.S. Navy in November 2002. Because he had an unfinished undergraduate degree in psychology, he took up medicine as a Navy corpsman.
After two years at the Naval Medical Center and Naval Base San Diego, he requested to be transferred to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion knowing that they were on the launching pad for deployment to Fallujah, Iraq. Later he concluded his military career at Naval Reserve North Island, finishing his service alongside SEAL Team 17.
Raymond says it was his greatest honor caring for and treating his brothers and sisters in arms. The experience stuck with him and once he fulfilled his contract with the Navy, he decided to further his training in medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine as a physician assistant. So he applied and got in; it was the only application he submitted.
As a physician assistant at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Raymond continues to make a difference in the lives of the very sick cardiovascular patients in the community. When asked why he chose to specialize in cardiac and vascular diseases, his answer was simple: he enjoys the challenge of diagnosing and treating the body's most complex organs.
"If I'm able to help restore someone's heart and vascular systems to improve their quality of life, I know I've done my job. That, to me, is the most rewarding part of my work."
Sharp HealthCare appreciates Alain Raymond and all veterans for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make to serve our country.
For the news media: To talk with PA Alain Raymond for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at email@example.com.