Showing His Grattitude For Where He Got His Start
When donor Dr. Pierre Guibor ’62 was at NIU, science labs looked like this one.
As a pre-med student at NIU, Dr. Pierre Guibor always knew his education would take him far, but he had no idea it would take him thousands of feet below sea level.
As a cruise ship doctor with assignments in remote dive locations in the South Pacific, Pierre looks back at his time at Northern Illinois University as the foundation for his successful career in medicine. As a token of thanks for that beginning, Pierre is giving back to the university through an estate gift that will support students across academic disciplines throughout the university, including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Pierre grew up in Ottawa, Illinois, and joined the Marine Corps at 16 years old and served in various parts of the world before coming to Northern to study biology. He was active in the pre-medicine and psychology clubs at Northern and credits the mentorship of the faculty, particularly professor Edith H. Grotberg, for helping him through the undergraduate years.
After his graduation in 1962, Pierre studied at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He interned at Philadelphia General Hospital and had his residency at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. He currently practices at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey, with specialties in ophthalmology and plastic surgery.
Like many physicians, Pierre attends medical seminars all over the world, and one such seminar just happened to be on a ship. The doctor befriended the captain, who suggested he become a cruise ship physician. After taking courses in cardiac arrhythmias, advanced cardiac life support, advanced trauma support, and general medicine, Pierre started his assignments on the ship one week at a time. Eventually, he was on board for stretches of six months.
Life on a Cruise Ship
Pierre clarifies that being the cruise doctor isn't like it's portrayed in sitcoms and books.
"It's a very large responsibility. Sometimes you're in isolated places where serious problems exist," he explains. "You have to be not only quick to make a decision of how to treat people, but also know how to evacuate people out of dangerous and harmful medical situations and determine what the safest and most appropriate treatment is."
Given the ship's clientele of scuba divers traveling to remote destinations, Pierre's main interest was-and still is-underwater baromedical problems. Dive ship doctors must be prepared for divers who ascend too quickly and get decompression sickness from gas embolism and nitrogen in the blood and consequently have to be taken back into the water or to a chamber to be recompressed.
"As a physician on a dive boat, you have to be familiar with those things and be a diver yourself," Pierre says. "It's pretty serious, as it can be life or death."
Since the financial downturn forced many of the ships into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ending Pierre's cruise ship career, his dedication to his large client base and other obligations have kept him quite occupied on the East Coast.
If You Can Give, You Should
Grateful for his career, Pierre finds it important to give back to the place where he got his start. "I think successful alumni should consider giving back a token of their financial reward," he says. "If it's something you can do, then you should do it."
You can change a life with your support and you don't even have to give up assets today. Contact Judy M. Schneider at 815-753-1389 to learn more.