As a teenager, Dr. Nche Zama came to the United States on a student visa with just $20 in his pocket. He was homeless for a while until a compassionate person took him in and helped guide him on his journey to the American Dream.
Dr. Zama was the second of six children, raised in grass huts by illiterate but hardworking parents who instilled within him the values of discipline, pragmatism, and community. When he witnessed the preventable and horrific death of his mother during childbirth due to the lack of access to a doctor and proper medical care, his life’s purpose shifted forever. His father sold his property, so young Zama could travel to America for a better education.
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Today, Nche Zama, MD, PhD, is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon who completed training at the Cleveland Clinic and Harvard University. He holds a PhD in chemistry, a Harvard master’s degree in management, and a medical degree.
He is recognized as one of the top cardiothoracic surgeons in the country and is often sought out for his expertise. He has held positions across Pennsylvania as Director of the ESSA Heart and Vascular Institute in East Stroudsburg, Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Jefferson Aria Health in Philadelphia, Chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, and has been a Staff Cardiothoracic Surgeon for Susquehanna Health Systems in Williamsport and York Hospital in York. He founded a humanitarian organization to provide medical and surgical care to the poor and disadvantaged. On one of his global humanitarian missions, he performed the first pediatric cardiac surgery in his native country of Cameroon.
Valuing education, he has financially supported over two dozen of his nieces and nephews through college, provides financial support for an entire elementary school for poor children, and as vice chair of an American educational empowerment organization he has contributed to the construction of a new academy in Africa to train innovative thinkers and future leaders. He has also served as a Clinical Associate Professor at Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Besides his extensive humanitarian efforts, Dr. Zama enjoys reading, traveling, music, hiking, running, and learning new languages—adding to the six he already speaks. He enjoys spending time with his children, grandchildren, and family.
Connect with Dr. Zama
Notable quotes from Dr. Zama’s interview:
I espouse transparency, accountability, and integrity.
You cannot dismiss a 14 year old boy who’s been bitten by snakes, living in a grass hut.
I want to contribute to that better future for our children.
We’ve all had that moment when God speaks to us and God spoke to me.
This is how bad the state of affairs are: people tell me I’m too intelligent to be governor.
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Access the Show Transcript Here
Squeeze the hand and a leg and standing in the corner in the same room was a nurse with her arms up in the air and she was crying at you.
And she kept saying the repeating there’s no doctor there’s no doctor you know there’s no doctor.
[0:32] And I kept squeezing my mom’s hand and she kept saying son go home I said no mommy please don’t die.
[0:45] Paging dr. cook paging dr. cook dr. Turk you’re wanted in the o.r. dr. Koh.
[1:16] Hello everyone and welcome to prescription for success.
I’m dr. Randy cook your host for the podcast which is the production of MD coaches.
Providing leadership and Executive coaching for Physicians by physicians to overcome burnout.
Transition your career develop as a leader or whatever your goal might be visiting MD coaches on the web at my MD coaches.com because you’re not in this alone.
[1:45] My guest today has a really remarkable story of success that begins with his birth and the Central African nation of Cameroon and continues through a highly successful career as a cardiovascular surgeon.
[1:59] And now he’s a candidate for governor in the state of Pennsylvania so let’s hear a doctor in she’s AMA fill in the.
[2:13] Pleasure it is for me today to be in conversation with dr. inch a Zama.
[2:19] Pennsylvania where he is no longer doing work on the human heart he’s actually running for office.
[2:28] In J I don’t know how to thank you so much for being with us because I know you’ve been a busy man.
Randy well thank you for this opportunity to chat here this evening it’s been a very busy.
Year actually but things are coming along well and I’m happy delighted to hear that,
well as we always do on prescription for Success we like to get started with your origin story which is to say it’s Unique is certainly an understatement you grew up in the Central African.
Country of Cameroon
and tell us a little bit about your Origins and and let’s find out how from that environment you moved into an area of sophisticated science and higher education what was the beginning like.
[3:17] So yes I stated I was actually born in a little grass Hut Village in Cameroon,
the Northwestern part of Cameroon and Africa and I was raised by Christian conservative illiterate subsistence farmers.
My mom and dad were very loving but was strict disciplinarian since and you know we were just a normal village family that time
and it just to give us a feel about how many citizens were there in that Village,
problem is how I want to say about 5,000 okay let’s say.
[3:58] And so it’s a good size Village yeah and so at a very young age I started agitate that I wanted to go to school and my parents kept telling me I was too young and kept agitating and.
Because I had an older cousin who’s about four years older than me.
[4:18] And he would started Elementary School actually has gone attending a Catholic School missionary School
and you know there was something about education that it
just told me completely transformed him I mean I loved his uniform he was learning a new language and he sang These nice,
Christian Missionary songs that I’ve never heard before.
Justice mannerisms his whole attitude but just to make sure we we have the entire flavor of what’s going on here it sounds as if in your little village
that it was not necessarily a given that a child was going to go to school is that right.
That’s right well there were so few educational opportunities and you’re exactly right and a lot of parents you know as a child you had duties you joined your father and your mother.
On the farm and so there was always something to you to do and so
this whole concept of Education to a lot of villages was not something they really embraced
but my uncle who sent my cousin to school he had a couple years of education so that was just something.
He knew something that probably my parents didn’t know you know and in any case so three years of age my uncle finally took me to a school was a presbyterian school but I was real.
[5:45] Some early rejected because they said I was too young and and so I was very sad and the same day
when we left that school he says well you know all right well let’s go to the Catholic Elementary School see what they say we got there,
same things too young go home you know maybe come back next year or the year after,
didn’t even give you an audition it’s like they didn’t give me a time of day at least the first school they got to talk to me and ask them questions and.
[6:18] So finally,
I got back to the Village I’m really down in the dumps feeling down because I wanted to go to school and there’s just education I wanted to be like my cousin
yeah so I have an uncle showed up and says hey did you hear the one about this a new Baptist missionary school they’re opening you know.
And for we took off like a bat out of hell and trekking.
Not too far away from the village we got to the place and it was a long line of parents and students waiting to make their case for admission and we join the line and we got.
To the teacher calm the Headmaster he was the first teacher.
And I remember like yesterday Mr one key was his name it was a one-room School in a hunt.
And my uncle kept pleading with him and I was standing here myself looking.
Very sad and anxious and and so he looked at me and he said I remember like it was yesterday says we’ll take him
and so I started Elementary School that day
and why was I excited and as I’ve always said I never went back to the Village mentally because I started to learn new things and my mind was traveling around the world.
[7:39] You know I lived in a village physically but mentally I was you know gone and then I was at that time living with my grandmother who was a leper.
And you know people didn’t understand leprosy she had lost digits her thumbs and toes and she was living alone in a neighboring Village.
And so my parents asked if I would live with it while they didn’t really ask that you go live with Grandma and you hop on.
[8:07] And so we lived together in one room tiny Hut so you were were you serving more or less as her caregiver.
Yes I was okay I give up I am I would watch I mean I remember distinctly finger or two just falling off the Rocks away you know like with lemon how.
She have sores and I would help clean them and they smelled and and but she was so loving grandma
you know and would really sad me is often times she a now would be
walk into the farm or something and people would see her and her deformities and their shun her and make funny sounds and despise her and I would get so angry.
And she would look at me and say son don’t get angry.
She goes within everybody there’s good and there’s bad you need to focus on the good they’re good people they just don’t understand
and so those were very powerful lessons in life that I began to learn living with my leper grandmother.
[9:10] And then I continued school and when I got to the third grade I was skipping a great actually to the next great,
but they didn’t have a new school they needed to build a new school so I got to the campus at the beginning of the year,
and we were told you know we couldn’t continue that so I trekked to another Baptist school which was about I want to say six to eight miles away from the village
and that’s why I enrolled but it was just really difficult getting up every morning,
A Long Walk Through the Woods this was news no Highway sure my parents had me transferred.
Back to that Presbyterian school that had initially rejected me a few years early and and so I was closer to home.
[10:00] And every night Mom and Dad when she got home from the farm and she made dinner and we ate and had that kerosene lamp shade lighter,
the laments that she’ll have me sit down and said Son sit your butt down and start studying and I would do homework every single night and I want to say two hours minimum,
and think so things were going great and it was something about education of our stuff to talk about this that my enthusiasm.
For Education became infectious as far as my parents were concerned.
To a point where sometimes my dad would ask me to teach him some of the things,
I’ve been learning really oh yes he was so excited and I taught him the ABCs numbers and stuff you know it’s just a poor farmer he could read or write
and so it about 10 years of age my mother my parents got arrested because I have an uncle.
[10:57] Who doesn’t have about a sixth grade education and he was agitating about a new philosophy,
would never heard of nobody called democracy you know that time we were in socialism and dictatorship.
So he will trouble maker trouble maker and he would talk to people about freedoms and Liberties and rights and you know to the natives and,
the government got wind of it and they send agents to arrest him and kill him really.
[11:27] And he heard about it and he under cover of Darkness he ran away and so when the Jean Downs the police when they came.
And couldn’t find him they arrested my dad and mom there’s they thought they knew his whereabouts and so,
there were taken to jail because poor kids alone in that hat oh my goodness at one of the most difficult times.
I still often times my sister and I my older sister when we chat
you know reminisce and that always comes up how tough a time that was forced you know and my mother was raped in jail my father was tortured.
And but eventually it will both let go.
And our lives continued and then one day I was coming back from school I was about 10 years ago which I ran into my uncle Simon Bush path somewhere.
And he looks very anxious I had never seen that look on his face and I what’s the matter Uncle Sam well your mother’s not doing well she went to the hospital to give birth,
and she needs blood so for 10 year old needs blood I don’t know I’ve never heard of somebody needing blood so I ran off to the hospital.
And when I got there and it was just a hospital and name it was 11 docked of the hospital only one doctor.
[12:48] And I was just a bush hospital when I walked into the room my mom was in a corner.
There was blood flowing from a groin making a puddle on the floor,
and she was writhing in pain and just morning and just in terrible distress she heard my my voice and she goes son go home I’m dying and I says mommy please don’t die I ran across to her health at hand.
Squeeze the handle leg and standing in the corner in the same room was a nurse with her arms up in the air and she was crying actually.
And she kept saying the repeating there’s no doctor there’s no doctor you know there’s no doctor.
[13:30] And I kept squeezing my mom’s hand and she kept saying son go home I said no mommy please don’t die unfortunately she died.
And I hadn’t really seen my baby brother who just been born a few hours before you know.
And unfortunately a couple weeks later he too died because we didn’t have a neonatal intensive care all the resources we have in the modern world.
But that night as I left the room and I was walking back to the Village.
[14:02] The words of that nurse will ringing in my ear there’s no doctor so I decided I wanted to be a doctor because doctors save lives
and I didn’t want any child ever to experience what I just experienced and I didn’t want any parent to have to suffer like my mama just suffered So I says I want to be a doctor so I can save lives I gotta tell you that,
the most powerful answer to the question why did you want to be a doctor that I have ever heard yeah and I doubt seriously that it’ll ever be.
It’s your past that is really powerful that’s the day that I made the decision that I wanted to be a doctor
I got back to the village and I have to tell you 3 months before that before her death my mom and I have been sitting right in front of a hat.
You know on an afternoon we would chat you know I was I was Mommy’s boy no and there was the best
boarding school secondary school was a few miles away from the village and once a week they let out those kids on Wednesdays,
to go to the city and run errands and it the path that they would take to the city came right in front of Asda.
[15:19] And so we’re sitting there my mom and I and these kids come walking cast and.
And all handsome little boys dressed up in their uniforms and my mother looked at me I’m standing next to her and she looked at the kids and she goes some.
That’s where I want you to go to school if you ever.
Enter that’s cool I will die a happy mother while and so she goes that’s the best school and that’s where I want you to go and after she died I went there to seek admission and they didn’t have room in the first year.
The only have a spot in the second year I says I’ll take it my same uncle again took me.
[16:01] And so I enrolled and you can imagine it’s like starting College in the sophomore year and so I hadn’t heard of chemistry,
and the kids in the second year it had a year of chemistry year physics year biology math should you know geometry trigonometry
all these new Concepts I never heard of so I would be studying first-year material and second-year material simultaneously as something it’s just very hard to describe
those are probably the most challenging times of my life my academic life but most importantly I’ve always said God.
On your journey in life God plans Angels along the way and one of those Angels Among many was an American Peace Corps volunteer.
[16:49] And the piece called movement was just very powerful at that time but I was really is and he took particular interest in me and he would feed me books,
you know incessantly because I love to read I just had a voracious appetite for books and one day he said son you’re very hard-working student because I would leave campus sometimes and go to my farm I had a little farm.
Where I grew corn pineapples vegetables I would sell to defray some of my school
costs expenses and he says son you work very hard if you go to America you can be the doctor you’ve always wanted to be.
Because if you work hard towards in America you would be successful I remember those two words work hard.
[17:41] So when I graduated I applied to multiple colleges but the schools I applied to in America I would select schools with,
very low tuition because I knew I’d be working hard I didn’t have anybody to help sponsor some and I got into a school in Baltimore called coppin and then one day the natives all sat around in our Hut.
And they donated what amounted to twenty dollars for pocket money.
And my father sold her house with the crops around it in the land to a rich man and got three hundred dollars
and with that he bought me a one-way ticket to New York City my goodness and here was at skipped about three or four grades total between Elementary and secondary school
and I was just a little teenager when I arrived in New York City not knowing any all by myself.
[18:39] What do you think of that when you arrived in new oh man I was scared I was I mean you got to read this book I wrote this book and you know the title is mommy please don’t die which is based on the last last works I shared with my mother
but in that book I detail my first experience in America was to say.
Challenging at best because I experienced the money that I brought it was 10,000 Francs got about 20 dollars,
I got scammed out of the money oh no I had enough to finally love the airport.
And I got to Port Authority bus station and there I encountered another Angel and he helped me out with the luggage I must look really confused trying to negotiate.
Navigate through the subway I’ve never seen it’s been on a train I mean there was just everything was new I’d never speak any English at that time oh yeah I did because I had gone to,
an English-speaking Secondary School yeah okay and also I spoke French now I speak six languages but then I only spoke about three
you know see only actually yeah and and so he gave me $20 and I was able to catch a bus to ball I got to Baltimore,
same thing didn’t have any money a cab driver took me right across across the street up up the hill to the YMCA.
[20:03] And where I checked in they told me if you’re if you’re in any City and you’re stuck in America go to a YMCA.
[20:11] So I got in and they allowed me to register without paying this because I promised them I’ll find a way to pay and here I was up on the eighth floor.
I’ve never been anywhere that far up in the air from and I cried every day I look down the window the streets of Baltimore I’ve never seen so many people cars noise I mean emotionally just,
And I was not hungry I just didn’t eat or drink water from the faucet cry all day miss my parents miss my mom.
And then one day I had those a knock on the door I opened it it was a young man he was older obviously he was a college student from Morgan State.
His name was Bill and he was a language major he was working in the YMCA that summer.
And he’s seen my name on the registry and he was curious so he came upstairs and he goes you speak French and I said yeah so we start talking,
and and then subsequently he would bring peanut butter sandwiches to feed me every single day when he came into work.
And I used to look forward to seeing.
And then you got on the College radio in Baltimore Casino college students he worked in Polish radio that’s a DJ.
[21:31] And he sent out a Clarion call in Baltimore asking would anybody be willing to house a homeless kid from Africa days turned to weeks and one day I got another knock on the door.
And they said somebody was looking for me downstairs and I didn’t ask that you know she’s just wondering who in America would be looking for me so I went downstairs and a gentleman,
who’s still so special to me is that other Angel he looked at me he was elegantly dressed gentleman
it goes I un Che I says yes he says go get your stuff and come with me you can stay with me,
and he was a nurse anesthetist name was Sam.
He worked at Provident Hospital in Baltimore had a one-bedroom apartment he bought a couch in a pillow,
and that’s where I lived my my first year in a my goodness yeah Sam and I are as close as two people can he’s retired lives in Alexandria Virginia.
[22:30] And and he took very good care of me you drop me off every morning on campus and I had a part-time jobs give me bus fare and he taught me the lay of the land and a little bit about American culture.
And so why did he happened to find you do you know well he must heard the announcement on the radio and and he just you know it’s just
and I’ve always wondered wow why would anybody young man single handsome guy just think about how I’m
you taking somebody like me really cramping us as lifestyle.
But that wasn’t important my welfare was most important to him and total stranger while on campus my chemistry teacher.
Professor Pat McDermott and he pulled me aside one day and he goes son this is a good school but if you want to go to medical school.
[23:27] I suggest you go to Boston he’d finished his PhD in biophysics in Boston.
He goes if you graduate from one of those schools up in Boston there a lot of medical schools out there you’ll have a better chance of entering medical school
so he had the Boston Prejudice he had the boss effect where that’s where all the star people are right that’s where I’ll stop I get it and so that’s summer,
he got a government grant to do research at Goddard space flight center in Greenbelt Maryland,
on nickel cadmium batteries solar cells.
And he had a little bit of money to hire a couple of laboratory assistants lab assistant.
And so he asked if I would be willing to work from that summer,
and there was another kid who is originally from Thailand name was syrup on he just graduated he was a senior I was a freshman
in this kit had graduated and he was going on to Virginia Polytechnic someplace,
to do a PhD so he and I worked with Professor McDermott that summer and I at the end of the summer I was the richest man in the world I had earned $1500 $1100 and
I’m with that money.
[24:47] I caught the Greyhound bus and headed north to New England hi I’m Rhonda Crowe founder and CEO Forum D coaches
here on RX for Success we interview a lot of great medical professionals on how they grew their careers how they overcame challenges.
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[25:57] We’ll get back to our interview in just a moment but right now I want to tell you a little bit about physician Outlook.
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[27:00] And now let’s get back to today’s interview after you got your bachelor’s degree.
[27:08] And decided that you wanted to go to work on a PhD what was the what was the motivation behind that as opposed to trying to get into medical school.
[27:19] Was so I wanted to do research I’ve always liked science and I only wanted to do,
clinical research as well as practice medicine and so I wanted to be a medical scientist I had met a gentleman at Johns Hopkins.
Who had an MD and a PhD and I thought the fun of knowledge that he had was so admirable.
Man has he talked about some of the research he had done you had a PhD in Biochemistry.
And then I said I to I wanted to be an MD PhD so that was the motivation yeah so it was not
hi and this is very powerful for me I mean you described your circumstances and one would think that you would.
[28:09] Want to head as quickly as you could go to something that would make a nice living for you which right all right medical school would have certainly done that but yet.
You decided to go for the PHD and then we know how many unemployed phds there are oh yeah absolutely it was a long road I mean.
I spent several years in the laboratory working in.
And doing research and anyway you know the irony of it all is that a lot of my research than was on heart disease sure and in the,
it’s pretty certain elements like zinc and copper and and years later it would come full circle because then I want up being a heart lung surgery sure and so it gave me an in-depth understanding.
The decision to involve yourself in surgery and particularly cardiopulmonary surgery yeah
was that seed already well under way as far as germination of wild you were in medical school yeah well Randy your question sounds like you know a little bit about my background is as a kid,
this is not tell you something hit on the right mail here when I was a kid
I was so curious about the inner workings I had my uncle Simon that I ran into the told me about my mother was you know having problems in the hospital what he was a butcher.
[29:35] And every morning he would you know get up about 5:30 in the morning to slaughter cows.
And I would ask him if I could go with him and I used it used to fascinate me to stand there and watch him /
across the chest and then I see all the inner organs and their workings and stuff and so I started to catch these if you know anything about Cameroon Cameroon is notable for the largest frogs in the world
you can have it again yeah I mean that’s the biggest frogs you look it up I mean huge and I would catch them
and I’ll cut them open and I remember one time when I you know I caught this frog and I cut it open the chest and I saw his heart beating.
[30:24] And I cut out the heart and I had it in my hand in the kept beating I ran into the Hut and ask my dad not to write about this in my book and I says Dad.
The heart why is it still beating and his response I remember till today he said that’s the way God made it
it was very conclusive but there’s a lot of Truth so the cure my curiosity was still there so,
but when I look back the connection with heart surgery actually started way back the connection with surgery was the fascination watching my uncle Simon Slaughter animals account.
I’m not quite sure how to.
To bring about this segue here because it’s so incredibly unusual I think clearly you have had a very successful practice you have had a very rewarding experience of
sharing your skill and your expertise,
with people who wouldn’t have had a chance if you hadn’t shown up I can’t imagine how rewarding that must have been.
For you and now you’ve reached a point in your life.
[31:39] Where you want to be come in politics and I won’t go so far as to say most people but a lot of people look upon politicians as sort of the bottom feeders.
Right now I’m interested to hear how you developed this interest and why you’re running for governor.
In the state of Pennsylvania well first up
I thank God every day because statistically speaking I shouldn’t be sitting here actually chatting with you and coming from where I came from from a village in a grass Hut there’s a great God above
I’m sitting here because of something I call educational empowerment and one of the things I’ve done is build schools with like-minded friends currently support an entire Elementary School.
Because Coming to America this is a twenty dollar investment,
by illiterate villages in Africa and and since I’ve been in Pennsylvania I’ve had a robust mentoring program in whatever Town what is Philadelphia so the Poconos wherever I’ve lived
so many of those kids have gone on to become doctors nurses lawyers,
you know School teachers every one of the kids who came to me because their parents were concerned,
and they’d heard about me and and I’ve mentored them consistently over the years have been very successful I just as an aside.
[33:07] There was a young lady whose mother brother to me the Akira Mira Beetle 13 years old she was struggling.
And I mentored her and then the years went by and I got curious thank God for Google so I Googled her name
I was shocked she was a top student majoring in Material Science and Engineering at Northwestern University in Chicago and as I read further about her experience in college somebody interviewed her and says
what event in your life now this she’s a stellar student Material Science and Engineering is not easy you know and this is that little scrawny girl that was in my operating room timid scared
you know I would motivate daily and she goes when I was 13 years old a cardiothoracic surgeon took me under his wing.
[34:00] And it transformed my life and when I read that I cried.
[34:05] I said you know I’ve always said whatever we do on our lives it will only have meaning.
[34:12] If it is undergirded by what value proposition it brings to our children otherwise we’ll practically self-serving in our lives and our lives have been in vain,
and so a few years ago when the covid crisis hit
I was in the hospital I was at the epicenter as a caregiver of covert and you know if you’re on the ventilator and you’re still suffering,
because you can’t get oxygen in your lungs are crap what do you do they get a cardiothoracic surgeon.
To put you on eight more and then they put you in eight more and to pump oxygen directly into your bloodstream.
Well I had this dumb lady I was working on with her kids had seen the kids in the family waiting lounge and her husband.
[35:00] And I came home that day just feeling really bad and down about.
Covid in in discourage you know and then I watched our governor on television and I heard him speak I said to myself there’s got to be more Humanities tea,
in his Works which I didn’t see and then he seemed so I had a touch and didn’t seem to know what he was doing and you know.
We’ve all had that moment moment when God speaks to us and God spoke to me.
Soon after my mom died as I was trekking in the dark to the village and I’ve said time and again in the past several months that there Comes A Time In Our Lives when styling says betrayal that night it came for me and I says I’m going to run for governor.
[35:51] And it’s like every decision in my life God speaks I listen and I embarked on the trail
and that’s the night I dropped the scalpel and I decided in the year ago I launched a campaign to be governor of Pennsylvania and I’ve said Pennsylvania is sick and it needs a heart surgeon.
And furthermore I want to be a governor.
For the children of Pennsylvania well I gotta hand it to you for one of the most moving stories of motivation that I think I have ever heard,
but I’m going to have to ask you some practical questions and I’m certain because you’re as intelligent as you are that you realize.
You’re entering politics during the most polarized period in my memory yeah I’ve been watching it a long time a lot of my
a lot of my relatives when I was a little kid like you were politician anything to do with it but right now I’m when we have two parties who are refusing to agree on anything you’ve chosen to enter the field as a republican when.
It’s widely believed that no Republican can win anywhere without the endorsement of Donald Trump also right Trump is already in endorsed one of your Rivals so what I frame of mind as you begin to take this on.
I have always said yes politics is a dirty game everybody says that and the question I hear time and again and I’m the first candidate who has visited all 67 counties in Pennsylvania
and right now some of them have been six seven times actually and everywhere would go with my team my manager people will stop me and say
you’re too intelligent to be governor knows and so the first time I heard it I just started I says okay so we go to the next County and I will lady walks up to me and holds my hand
and she goes I really like you I like what you say but you’re too intelligent to be governor.
[37:52] And I got home that night and I lay in bed can I say to myself.
Wow that’s how bad things are it should be a an asset not a liability
this is that’s how bad the State of Affairs are in the state and yes people have told me time and again ask questions why would you leave a brick professionals cardiothoracic surgery and enter into dirty politics.
[38:17] Well my response to almost and this is politics is just a den of Thieves and I said well,
there’s two types of fees there’s a simple common Thief who steals your wallet or steals your purse but what happens when you steal somebody swallow the purse they run after that Thief.
They gotta catch him if they catch him they’ll beat him up they may even hurt them in other ways.
Big get the police the legal system they arrest him to throw me the very aggressive I said but the political Thief they don’t steal your wallet,
they don’t steal your purse no they don’t steal the money they still your education they’re still your health care they’re still your,
your business they’re still your Korea and they still your future but yet day in and day out people would line up.
To vote back in that political Thief hmm Isis politics is not bad is the individuals energy and I says,
I want to change that I want to flip the script well let’s talk about that for a moment and I’m very interested to know and you can
approach this in any way you like but what what’s your vision for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania do you got bullet points for think she’ll need to be done.
Sure I consider myself a conservative.
[39:46] Compassionate critical thinker I’ve spent my life saving lives making life and death decisions being in leadership in Madison,
being responsible for huge financial dashboard and clinical outcomes but most importantly I have a more holistic view on Humanity that most
because I’ve been privileged to be in a profession that looks at people holistically and the issues so when you come to me with a heart problem or tumor in your lung,
I’m not just looking at the anatomy I’m looking at the circumstances in your life your family your children,
how the impact your health and how they impact your recovery and so it’s given me a perspective and actually I would say I’m more prepared than any candidate.
[40:31] To assume that type of leadership as governor of the state so I have passion
understanding and commitment and so one of the issues that resonate with me obviously all issues that concern people resonate but more particularly in our state of Pennsylvania if I start off I would say one
our elderly and our veterans,
have been suffering way too long meanwhile was spending billions of dollars on illegal aliens when I watch out that runs an elderly,
sleeping under bridges and having to make a choice between buying insulin they need for their medication or putting food on the table as a fellow human I can go to my grave knowing that I can make an impact with others that are like mine.
[41:16] So that’s a very important platform for me and other least who forced to pay property taxes.
Meanwhile there’s so much mismanagement and politics were not a poor state if we’re a country we would be number 16 17 or 18 depending on the vagaries of global Commerce when 800 billion dollar economy
would not pull which is not managed right I want to take the politics out of human care and inject humanism and and I know I can’t because there are many like-minded people
that are looking for that type of pragmatic leadership to do that and what’s more I want to protect the innocent.
No abortion has become a hot button topic and if you’re not aware of Pennsylvania.
We’ve been losing population and there’s a big deal will actually have lost congressional seats you know even this year.
And always amazes me how people are out there promoting abortions but then saying we’re losing population I mean it’s just such a discordance you know there’s a work that Community describe them.
[42:19] And I said to myself we all agree that life begins at conception why do people then support abortions.
It shouldn’t be it’s a moral thing God commands us to protect life everybody who listens to you in my travels somebody made a moral decision to not take their lives the way you know from from from us from Humanity.
And so those issues that I believe that I can make a difference that resonate with me and on my platform and then we’re in Pennsylvania.
We have the one of the largest energy resources in the world if we were a nation we would be number 44 energy.
Yes people in Pennsylvania can’t even afford to heat their homes I see patients who come in and you know freezing the wounds are not healing well.
[43:08] I can’t afford the heating bill but we have policies that prevent us from utilizing those resources I want to be the governor that addresses energy from a human perspective,
and also affordable reliable energy supplies and also economically.
I want to open new markets overseas as I said I speak six languages I’ve traveled the world there’s no candidate
I can feel as comfortable as I do in any longitude and latitude the number one constraint for economic growth in all developing countries.
Evolving economies around the world is what energy Pennsylvania’s got it so you can see what an explosive Revenue flow you would get by opening up our markets in eliminating these archaic policies,
when I say energy
I say environment because you can’t do one without the other I love the environment I believe that we can use our resources and at the same time protect our environment
I’m a scientist so I support clean energy research but I’m a pragmatist and I’m going to tell you my brother
clean energy is not ready for prime time to take over from what we have.
[44:15] So decisions are being made politicize human lives I want to take the politics out of it I want to be the governor of business the cardiac surgeon and agriculture we are an agricultural Giant,
do you know that Pennsylvania revenue from other agriculture in this state,
it’s an industry that’s worth about 183 billion dollars our Farmers have suffered,
they can’t even afford fertilizer well I want to be the guy who’s a drum major of Agriculture open new markets overseas provincial thinking there’s no more time for that it’s past
and then just blow up the economy here and take this to a trillion dollar economy and with that increased Revenue flow,
we can now begin to Grapple and tackle and address the social ills that confront us and finally educational system were failing consistently
this may shock you and you look it up tonight Pennsylvania consistently so the bottom
they’re in every ranking nationally in education and we’ve got something I’ve described and some of the candidates are now using the terminology as zip code disease where the same zip codes year in and year out.
Have poor performance well guess what I’m a guy who Embraces Excellence that woman and that man in that Grass Hut.
[45:38] The one Banner they wanted me to carry was what excellence and I’ve said time and again that on a scale of desirable goals Excellence Trump’s diversity any day.
[45:51] And the only thing that diversity does is beautify Excellence well I’ll be that governor,
that promotes excellence in those communities where the zipcode disease
and allows parents to have skin in the game with school choice and furthermore every challenge Elementary School on up will be exposed
to vocational education because not every child needs to follow the classic Pathway to college so what we need in Pennsylvania.
And we will have under my leadership is a Marshall Plan in education because we now live in a knowledge-based global economy.
And the ones that are going to succeed and Excel.
Hey computers were invented in Pennsylvania but we never feature in any discussion about technology.
So when you hear me say this state is sick and it needs a doctor and sometimes people crack up Isis
it’s not meant to be a joke it really is you you have got a really admirable list of accomplishments that you’d like to bring about and I think we all understand
did in a Democratic Society in order to do that you have to create some relationships inside government and older too
to get things done you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours and so forth the yes yes do you.
[47:14] Well I think that the answer should probably be obvious but you know sometimes these relationships can be distasteful and and uncomfortable and as I was saying before
and in this era I’m seeing absolutely no effort,
to reach across party lines and get things done what’s your thoughts on that my brother you’re absolutely on target people have asked me and a couple of the debates they asked the candidates what’s the first thing you will do.
[47:46] When you get to the governor’s office.
And everybody always has something he says well you know I’m going to cut taxes and that’s good because it’s one of the things I intend to do and we have some of the highest taxes in America will not business friendly.
Too many regulations are pigs that’s going to be done but my response always is There’s No Agenda that you’ll be able to accomplish this no strategy.
That’s going to be worth worth anything if you can bring people together was so despair it was so polarized as you said,
and everybody’s carrying a different band but I’ve always said it’s not as important to be uniform but we must be United
and once were united we can focus on a common agenda and a common destiny
my own background itself from Africa puts me in an enviable position
the bring people together but most important it’s not about me I cannot be bought we got to keep the agenda.
[48:48] Above the people of Pennsylvania and the future of our children and I think.
And doing that even as I started running I’ve had numerous supporters I would call them disciples the many ways to describe them,
who resonates with them and many of them,
many of our legislators many of our leaders in the state that have said yes we need to do this and I agree with you we can’t continue the way we are.
[49:17] We have to bring people together well and show you are very inspirational and I it’s been a long time since I’ve run into anybody with quite,
so much optimism and I have really really enjoyed the conversation up to this point but we have come to the point where I’m going to step aside for a moment,
and let you have the floor to yourself will this while doctor in Shay’s AMA gives us his personal prescriptions for success.
Well God has blessed me in life I am at the stage of my life that I want to give back I’m working on my legacy people always ask me haven’t you done enough I says no as long as we have breath,
we have not done enough because there’s still another human being that needs our assistance our Hub I’m running for governor to be governor for our children,
I have been in leadership positions in medicine for years I’ve been making decisions about life and death issues and I believe.
[50:19] That God wants me
on this mission to assume a new platform a bigger platform to do more for others my believe in leadership is that a leader is somebody who can convince you,
to drop your nets and follow him or her also a leader to me is somebody who absorbs uncertainties.
And these are clearly you know attributes that are demonstrated in my own work as a humanitarian Doctor Who was a leader in this industry
I’ve said to people you cannot dismiss a 14 year old who’s been bitten by snakes lived in a grass Hut
cockroaches seeking sanctuary in his ears I’ve been on a mission ever since I was a child,
and I believe that mission is not over yet I believe I’m the ultimate package deal to be governor of Pennsylvania
yes it’s not because of my degrees and qualifications yes I’ve got I’m a scientist with a PhD,
I have degrees in management and I’m medical doctor it’s no it’s because I have a heart for Human Service.
And I’ve showed that thousands of times in the lives I’ve saved with my team and across this great Commonwealth and across the world.
[51:37] And most of all I spouse excellence,
and everything that I do as a leader in the health care industry I have traveled the world I could have spent that time enjoying myself but no I wanted to save lives as a leader with a scientist
I will be able to be the ultimate drum major to articulate and support the issues to carry the banner.
On issues that mean a lot to people in our communities crime science technology agriculture Healthcare.
We’ve just gone through the covid crisis and we have about 24 viruses out there that are ready to enter.
I think my background and my experience puts me in the best position to lead this state.
I know so cardiac surgeon every time you grab that scalpel you own the outcome.
And what’s more you have only one chance to get it right and every decision you make must hinge on what’s in the best interest of the ones that you serve and also as a cardiac surgeon,
you can’t shine the spotlight on me I’m used to high performance teams.
[52:51] And so I believe in transparency accountability integrity and team I cannot be bought.
[53:01] And the final analysis I also want to grow the Republican party there more registered Democrats 600,000 approximately more so than Republicans in the state of Pennsylvania.
[53:13] I’m the guy that can reach across on the other side.
[53:16] Two Independents and Democrats therefore I am the only candidate who can win in November.
[53:23] And my candidacy actually will inspire many of our children would languishing.
In communities in our inner city who can look at me as the ultimate American Dream something that they can aspire to.
[53:40] Candidate see that tells him that Excellence is the only batter they should carry.
[53:46] And that it Trump’s diversity and many of the crazy theories that we now hear about the really belonging the junk heap of History.
And to understand that there’s no affirmative action in global Commerce so when they pursue.
The educational options they should pursue them fervently
and carrying that Banner of excellence and finally when our kids do this they understand this and they Embrace Excellence Pennsylvania begins to win when Perth finger wins when Pennsylvania’s caring and winning.
[54:22] The world is a better place.
And I want to contribute to that better future for our children the state of Pennsylvania and the greatest country in the world America.
[54:33] Thank you doctor in J’s are my it has been a great pleasure speaking with you today and I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you’ve taken the time you have a very busy schedule
at the time of this recording just a couple of weeks away from the primary I think so
it’s not lost on me that you had a lot of important things to do today and yet cited sit down and have a conversation with me and I’m grateful
for that generosity before we go I want to give you an opportunity to tell people
where they can find you and things about you if you’d like to share email addresses again the title of your book and whatever you like please
so the book I wrote and I would encourage people out there I think it’s a very good read.
And if you buy it you need to buy a box of Kleenex as well and the title of it is Mommy please don’t die and the last words I shared with my mother before she died at my hands
I was 10 years old and it’s on Amazon actually so you can purchase it.
[55:41] And you can encourage you to visit our campaign www.mccaffertykia.com and if you’re on Facebook go to our campaigns armor for PA.
And friend us you know on Facebook almost every day I travel the state.
And you know if you have any questions reach out to us and also.
We’re a Grassroots campaign and we encourage donations to help us so we appreciate your donations you can do that on our website and it tells you how to mail a check
if you choose to use that option and I just leave you with one thing,
we’re all connected we’re all brothers and sisters and I remind you of my favorite metaphysical poet John Donne as I come to the end here who said something 400 years ago that still resonates today.
That no man is an island entire of itself every man is a piece of the continent a part of the main.
And he went on to say that any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind,
therefore never asked to know For Whom the Bell Tolls it tolls for thee the Bell has been tolling for me and I intend to respond to act and that’s why I’m running for governor.
So that I can respond to the needs of the people in this great Commonwealth and I need your help.
[57:06] To have me get to Harrisburg and I promise you I’ll never let you down I love you thank you.
[57:13] Doctor ensure his armor cardiothoracic surgeon and candidate for governor for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania thanks again for being with us.
Thank you my brother and God bless you hope to chat with you again in the future.
[57:26] Thank you so much for joining us today we would really appreciate a five-star rating from you these ratings give us much more visibility and they helped us reach many more listeners if you’d like access to exclusive content,
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[57:49] To be sure you never miss an episode visit our website at RX for Success podcast.
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Success on speakpipe special thanks to Ryan Jones who created and performs the theme music for the show and remember be sure to fill your prescription for success with my next.