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Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 16, 2015) – California Baptist University's College of Health Science welcomed Dr. Harkeerat Dhillon on Sept. 14 to kick off its 5th annual Distinguished Lecture Series. Dhillon is an orthopedic surgeon at Riverside Medical Clinic. He spoke of his journey across continents to become a doctor.

The lecture series provides CBU students an opportunity to hear from speakers, who are leaders in their respective disciplines.

Dr. Harkeerat Dhillon.jpgDhillon is a graduate of the University College of Medical Sciences, located in Delhi, India. He described the persistence and commitment involved in attaining his goal to become a surgeon.

Dhillon said his voyage westward began when his boarding school in New Delhi could not offer the biology classes he needed to become a doctor.

"This was a hurdle I had to cross. My school was affiliated with Cambridge University in the United Kingdom so I applied for special permission to study biology there and they let me [take biology courses]," Dhillon said.

He eventually returned to India and finished his medical degree, graduating with a bachelor's of medicine and surgery.

"Now I could cut people into pieces and enjoy it," joked Dhillon, whose sense of humor was evident throughout his speech.

Another hurdle Dhillon faced occurred during his move to the United States in 1992.

"It was an absolute culture shock," Dhillon said.

Dhillon struggled to keep a job. After arriving in the United States, he was initially denied the opportunity to complete his fellowship due to immigration issues.  

A plea from a former boss eventually open the doors for Dhillon to continue his fellowship.

Dhillon quipped that he settled down in Riverside because he could not travel any farther west without running into the ocean. Today, Dhillon works at the Riverside Medical Clinic as an orthopedic surgeon.

"This is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling profession," Dhillon said. "You have to enjoy it, and the only way to enjoy it is to be good at it. Master your profession and you will enjoy it."   

He encouraged the students to set goals and not let challenges prevent them from attaining their goals.

"If you really want to make a success out of yourself, you need to set a goal, to stay focused and be extremely persistent," Dhillon said. "Sometimes there may be so many hurdles it may make you doubt yourself. But if you want to be a [successful] person, then the persistence and focus needs to be there."