Carl Edouard Jn Pierre, M.D. ’22, Aided Haitians During the 2010 Earthquake and Gained a New Interest in Medicine
The Earthquake Gave Him a Passion for Emergency Medicine but an Open Mind Led Him to Anesthesiology
Born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Carl Edouard Jn Pierre, M.D. ’22, grew up knowing his future would be in medicine. However, his plans to complete medical school in Haiti were derailed after his best friend was kidnapped from the car they were driving in together. Fearing for their son’s safety, Dr. Jn Pierre’s parents arranged for him to go to the United States while he was in his first year of medical school at Universite of Notre Dame d’Haiti.
In 2007, Dr. Jn Pierre arrived in New York with his sister. Financial aid loans were unavailable for international students, so he decided to pursue becoming a physician assistant to help pay for his sister’s tuition and save money for his own medical school. While studying to be a physician assistant at St. John’s University in January 2010, he took a break to visit his friends and family in Haiti -- a decision that would shape the next phase of his life.
While in Haiti, he experienced the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, including many of his family and friends. He witnessed a church demolished from the quake and was unable get home for two days because of the conditions. When he was able to travel home on the third day, he visited his high school, which was turned into a refugee camp. Many Haitians who lost their homes and were injured took shelter at the school and sought medical help. For the next week, Dr. Jn Pierre and his friends worked 13-hour days, using whatever equipment they could find – first aid kits, bandages and antiseptic-- to help the community. This tragedy led Dr. Jn Pierre to want to pursue emergency medicine, so that he could help as many people in critical condition as possible every day and make a significant difference in their lives.
Upon returning to the U.S., he worked as a physician assistant for six years at community and urban hospitals in New York City with the end goal of going to medical school. He arrived at New York Medical College in 2018, ready to make that dream a reality. Having worked in New York City, Dr. Jn Pierre wanted to be outside of the city and experience both urban and community medicine and appreciated the clinical opportunities NYMC had to offer him. While he still had an interest in emergency medicine, he decided to keep an open mind and discover other career paths. When the College connected him to Garret Weber, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology, he fell in love with the specialty. Dr. Weber gave him the opportunity to shadow him in the operating room as a first-year medical student. After that, he was set on anesthesiology because it gave him the ability to take care of patients throughout their time in surgery on an everyday basis.
Dr. Jn Pierre is currently completing his residency in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and could not be happier. “It's important to keep an open mind,” said Dr. Jn Pierre. “I came into medical field sure that I would be doing one specialty and I ended up going in a completely different direction. And I don't regret it at all. I think it's very important to explore other specialties. It allows you to have a bigger broader vision of what medicine really is.”