Francis' Open Road

There are no excerpts for this Leader.

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Speedbump

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Washington, DC

  • AIRED ON:

    Other: Speedbump

FRANCIS COLLINS

Geneticist

“Pick something that you love and not something somebody else says you should love.”

INTERESTS:

Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Beliefs & Faith Exploration Fulfillment Goals Opportunity Passion

FOUNDATION:

Problem-Solving

TAGS:

being open, career, chemistry, DNA, human genome, medical school, physics, religion, trying different things, Yale

BIOGRAPHY:

  • At the end of high school and through most of college, he was 100% certain he’d be a chemist.
  • Stresses “just because something is fun to learn about in a school setting, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something you want to do with your life.”
  • As he saw his fellow chemistry graduate students going into teaching positions, he realized that might not be a path he wanted to take.
  • Coincidentally shared a lab with a fellow graduate who was working with DNA; was always more interested in that work than his own.
  • Says you might come to a crossroads where you wonder, am I truly changing course to follow a passion, or do I just not have the drive to see my current work through?
  • Took the leap and changed course; went to medical school and loved it from day one; says he felt like, “Hallelujah, I’ve really found it.”
  • Says in the same way he had a completely different path laid out 20 years ago, he’s open to more changes in his path over the next 20 years.
  • Wishes he’d known the average person has five careers; started out so worried he’d mess up his one shot at a career that he almost didn’t take any risks.

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)