Physician and Mentor: 1979 Alumnus Returns to Speak to Excalibur Students


You could have heard a pin drop in the science classroom at Brother Martin as Dr. Gerard Gianoli spoke about lessons he learned as he entered the medical profession and rose through its ranks.

Gianoli, a 1979 graduate of Brother Martin, recounted story after story of being in operating rooms, of saving patients’ lives not only by skill and knowledge, but also by trying different approaches, staying confident and open-minded, and occasionally, sheer will.

During a 30-minute presentation to the Excalibur students, the New Orleans-area surgeon and neuro-otologist outlined a number of lessons: Do what you love. Be confident in making decisions. Try new things. Never say never.

The students, in turn, were captivated. The Excalibur students are part of Brother Martin’s science honor society. Many have high proficiency in math and science, and some have an interest in pursuing a medical career, just like Gianoli.

“That’s what this is about,” said Peter Valiente ‘79 the chair of the Science Department and Gianoli’s classmate at Brother Martin.  “We want them to see people who are just like them, who walked these halls and have had a significant impact on a profession. It’s not beyond their reach, if they work hard.”IMG_9681

Gianoli told students to work hard and do well in chemistry and physics, because it shows that they can master complex things. In medicine, he said, the “process of learning is the thing we do.”

Gianoli’s resume speaks volumes about a long career of hard work, taking a few risks and devoting oneself to what you love most. He graduated from Tulane University first in engineering, and then from the Tulane University Medical School in 1986. He specializes in neuro-otology (which studies and treats neurological disorders of the ear) and skull-base surgery, with a special interest in balance disorders.

Gianoli has received numerous awards, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology’s Honor Award, and has been consistently named to the ranks of “America’s Top Doctors” and “America’s Top Physicians.” He is one of less than 200 Board Certified Neuro-otologists in the country.

Despite all of his achievements, his message for students was a simple one. Having a passion is great, he said, but instead, try to “develop a passion from your strengths.”

Thank you, Dr. Gianoli, for sharing your wisdom and experiences with our future scientists!!










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