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Honors Student Lunch with NPR’s Dr. Zorba Paster

Dr. Zorba Paster with USU Honors Students

On Friday, March 17, 2017, the University Honors Program offered students the unique opportunity to have lunch and conversation with National Public Radio’s Dr. Zorba Paster, who was on campus visiting Utah Public Radio. Dr. Paster is a family physician and host of a weekly NPR call-in show, “Zorba Paster on Your Health.” Junior Justin Campbell, a philosophy and psychology double-major who plans himself to pursue an M.D., described his experience as one of the nine students lucky enough to meet Dr. Paster: 

     This past Friday, I was fortunate enough to share lunch with Dr. Zorba Paster, a physician and radio personality, whose lighthearted, entertaining demeanor paired perfectly with a humble message that was both inspirational and profound: you can always find happiness and purpose when choosing to serve others.

     As a family physician in practice longer than I have been alive, he was certainly more than qualified to speak on the value of helping others. His impact is by no means confined to the walls of his local clinic; as a talk-show host, health advocate, author, and global humanitarian, his message and mission have affected people around the world. His efforts to help have quite clearly afforded him a life rich in adventure and fulfillment, as well as the chance to cross paths with a variety of impressive people along the way. His many stories—about everything from conversations with Sir Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA, to work as a personal medical advisor for the Dalai Lama—made clear what a fulfilling life he leads.

     For honors students like me, the underlying theme of these very entertaining stories is crucial: the most meaningful and influential experiences often result from shifting your focus beyond yourself. Each person offers a unique perspective on the world’s problems, and if you dare to dream big, you may just end up doing something special. My brief encounter with Dr. Paster was a much-needed confirmation that medicine is the field for me. And because he took the time to have lunch with us, I can say with absolute certainty that his broad influence has now extended into a tiny conference room tucked away at Utah State University, where he touched the lives of a handful of engaged honors students.