Aug. 19, 2014 – For the last 13 years, Dr. Roy Klossner has followed a different path from most of his medical school classmates. After overcoming illness and developing a deep desire to help the underserved, Klossner, a 2000 graduate of the College of Medicine, has recently rededicated his life to completing his medical training and serving others across the globe through medical mission work.
Klossner began an emergency medicine residency after medical school but resigned before completion due to illness. He struggled to complete a second residency in anesthesiology and soon found himself facing cancer.
“Almost four years ago, I was having a follow-up procedure for my illness, and when the doctors woke me up, they told me I had cancer,” Klossner said.
Klossner’s cancer went into remission in 2010, and his faith and passion to help others led him to open the Westside Samaritans Clinic in Gainesville. But it was a trip to India two years ago that led to his interest in international mission work.
He plans to return to India as well as other countries, but first, he must complete his training. He began that training in April at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers. The residency program, which is the first in the Fort Myers area, received nearly 1,100 applications for 13 available slots.
As he prepared to leave Gainesville for the west coast of Florida, Klossner said his future rests in developing countries around the world.
“What interests me about doing work like this is that these people don’t have anywhere else to go. They feel invisible, like nobody really cares,” Klossner said. “Those are the people I want to help — the people who no one else cares about.”