Twin Grads Tackle COVID-19 in Respective Career Fields
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, a pair of Franklin & Marshall alumni are embodying the spirit of Lux et Lex — Light and Law — the College's motto so famously inscribed on the metal arch spanning Klauder-Apple Walkway.
Dr. Ross Myers '09 is shedding light on the differences between COVID-19 and similar pneumonia cases. His twin brother, Victor Myers '09, is navigating uncharted territory in the legal field.
Ross is a physician in fellowship training in the field of pediatric radiology at the Children's Hospital of Boston.
"COVID-19 has been a challenge for the medical community in general. From a pediatric radiology perspective, we have been working to identify the features that can distinguish COVID-19 from other similar pneumonia in children in order to help other physicians best care for their patients," Ross said.
His training involves studying chest X-rays and CT scans in patients with COVID-19 and keeping up with current medical literature about the virus.
Adaptability has been key, he noted.
"Sometimes the hardest thing to do in the middle of a crisis is to focus on what we're actually doing right, where we are making improvements, and to not lose hope that things can and will get better," Ross said.
He was quick to credit the College for providing his foundational skill set.
"My time at F&M, specifically my time as a chemistry major, helped prepare me for the rigors of medical school, and has helped me be an inquisitive person in general. It has especially taught me how to objectively analyze and implement the current scientific literature in my day-to-day practice," he said.
Ross spent his junior year as a research assistant through the Hackman Scholars Program, developing a reliable method for measuring gangliosides from porcine brain samples under the tutelage of chemistry professors, including Kenneth Hess.
"I have the fondest memories of our chemistry department and the dedication of the faculty. They were always available and took great interest in teaching each of us," Ross said.
Reflecting on his experience, Ross offered encouraging advice to the F&M community:
"If I have learned anything up to this point in my short life, it is to always be ready for the unexpected, to be humble enough to seek help, and to never lose faith that any challenge in life, no matter how daunting, can be surmounted. I think these lessons are truer than ever in the current times that we're living through."
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On the legal side of the pandemic, Victor Myers is facing the challenge of advocating for clients in the wake of canceled hearings and indefinite trial postponements. He serves as a defense attorney for Lancaster-based Scaringi Law with a focus on family law, criminal defense and general civil litigation.
"I'm going into situations that are completely uncharted territory. I can't call another attorney and ask, 'Hey, what have you done in this situation before?' because this hasn't been done before," Victor said.
In mid-March, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it was postponing oral arguments for the first time in more than 100 years; the impact has trickled down on a local scale. Victor has relied on videoconferencing with judges to prevent further trial delays for civil and criminal defendants. In other instances, his clients have not been allowed to enter the courtroom and rely solely on his representation.
Still, Victor assures that "this isn't a time of lawlessness," thanks to cooperation between judges, attorneys, law enforcement and courtroom personnel.
"No one is being held in jail and forgotten, and likewise, no one is being left out or released when they should be incarcerated," he said.
Victor's journey at F&M began in similar fashion to brother Ross — studying chemistry. The twins' older brother, Adam '04, is a fellow alum and surgical podiatrist in California.
Victor applauds the College's emphasis on critical thinking, especially for students considering law.
"The client presents a problem you've heard before, but you don't exactly know how to solve that problem yet. F&M never made the answers easy for us and encouraged us to problem solve at times when there were no clear answers. That training really makes a difference," he said.
Social distancing has kept the twin alums apart as of late. Fortunately, a Pennsylvania reunion is on the horizon. Ross is slated to begin work as a physician and radiologist at Lehigh Valley Hospital in July. Until that point, the Myers brothers will continue to chart unique courses in their respective fields.
Some things, it seems, just run in the family.
"If I have learned anything up to this point in my short life, it is to always be ready for the unexpected, to be humble enough to seek help, and to never lose faith that any challenge in life, no matter how daunting, can be surmounted. I think these lessons are truer than ever in the current times that we're living through."– Dr. Ross Myers
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