How Well Do You Know: Dr. Gilliar

By: Jaclyn Chua, OMS-II

After offering chocolate covered almonds straight from Switzerland, he said, “I’ll be right back, and then you can tell me what you think the theme of these photographs are.” I knew this was going to be far from a normal Q&A interview. The quirky affinity towards “New Perspectives” Dr. Gilliar instills on this campus is obvious by both the photographs and his creative endeavors inside and outside the field of medicine. It is a mantra he appears to apply in all aspects of his life. I hope the following interview, despite its many digressions, will do his perspective justice.

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I began the interview with the following series of questions which are often key to truly knowing an individual. These were Dr. Gilliar’s responses:

Math or English? Math.

Summer or Winter? Summer.

Morning or Night? Morning.

Tea or Coffee? Espresso.

Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter.

Black or White? White.

Dogs or Cats? Dogs.

Cake or Cupcakes? Cake.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.

Batman or Superman? Batman.

Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles.

Baked or Fried? Baked.

Peanut Butter or Jelly? Peanut Butter.

Favorite Music Group(s)? The Police and Sting.

Favorite Food? Any food.

Favorite Movie(s): The President’s Speech, Il Postino, and Cinema Paradiso

Desired Special Power: Emotional Mind-reading

Do you have any mottos by which you live?

There is no free lunch; expectation comes with entitlement. Also, do not cut corners. There are no shortcuts to success. True success has been built on both vision and hard work with a mixture of passion, rigor, and a heavy dose of reality. Lastly, by not looking, you may actually see better. There is a natural curiosity and creativity with which you must approach life.

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American Osteopathic Foundation

What times in your life did you truly feel successful?

When I was first hired as a press photographer shortly after high school when someone took a liking to my work. Also, when I graduated from osteopathic medical school at Michigan State University. Perhaps ‘not successful,’ but probably one of the happiest days in my life was when our son was born.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love photography, painting, etching, and drawing. I would like to get back to doing etchings and painting. I miss doing them, and I need to make time for them.

What is your favorite OMM technique?

“My own technique,” probably something that simply has come from years of doing this kind of work. You cradle the occiput while distracting the cervical spine using C7 as the fulcrum. I use this as both a diagnostic and treatment tool. I also enjoy “thoracic listening” for diagnostic purposes.

Who are the role models in your life?

I consider myself extremely fortunate to really have had mentors who have guided me…who took me under their wings and taught to “fly.” My undergraduate professor, William Bickel, Ph.D, who was my physics and microbiology professor in Arizona, taught me the rigors and honesty of research as well as Phillip Greenman D.O., FAAO whose associate I was at Michigan State.

I gravitate towards people who stay true to their own compass and those who somehow resonate with me on an emotional level. They often have qualities I wish to emulate.

What are your short term goals?

Here at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, I want to foster an internal culture where everyone is excited about improving upon a cutting edge curriculum that will prepare the students with the solid skills they need to achieve their long term goals. We must think outside the box. We must formulate a foundation upon which physicians can practice based on a true understanding of the healthcare system. In addition, we need to cultivate their roles as global civic leaders.

Are there any long term goals?

I hope to reconnect with my artwork, and I would like to learn some of the art of video and movie making. To stay active and remain flexible. Keep friendships and relationships fresh; Avoid the “status quo” at all costs.

What are the lessons you have learned as an educator and as the Dean of the College of  Osteopathic Medicine of NYIT?

Never rush to an early or uninformed conclusion or decision. Knowing facts is a small component of the learning equation: excitement, passion, true interest, rigor, dedication, perseverance, humility, and a heavy dose of humor are all positive ingredients that we need to foster.

As Dean, there are more meetings than your gluteus maximus can handle.

Is there any other message you would like to share?

It is my wish that the students truly see the learning process as a character-building opportunity and to welcome challenges as an opportunity for growth and change rather than working “around” or working “despite.” To think logically and enthusiastically.

Everyone must take his or her own path: DO NOT BE AFRAID OF MAKING MISTAKES. There is no such thing as a perfect path; walk your path…keep walking, and remain open to truly seeing the things that present themselves along it.

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“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Casey Kasem