Westmont Magazine A Childhood Interest
Coming from a family that frequently housed foster children, Dr. Christian Eby ’92 knew from an early age he wanted to be a doctor and work with children. A 1990 Potter’s Clay missions trip confirmed this desire when he served on a medical team with doctors who taught preventive medicine to Mexican children. He instructed youngsters in basic health habits — such as how to brush their teeth — and the small impact he made on the young lives that week cemented in his mind his calling to become a
While at Westmont, Christian studied biology, served on the Westmont College Student Association (WCSA) as projects coordinator, and earned good grades, graduating cum laude. Attending Westmont is a family tradition: his grandfather Eldon Eby is a trustee emeritus, and his brothers Timothy ’97 and Steve ’99 also went to Westmont. Following graduation, Christian served as a youth director at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Santa Barbara and worked at the Tri-Counties Blood Bank as a lab technician. Meanwhile, he applied to medical schools.
At the church, Christian organized social activities for the junior high and high school students and taught Sunday School. “I gave the kids productive alternatives to the gangs and drugs that saturated their schools,” he says.
Although he was not immediately accepted to medical school, he pursued his dream by entering a master’s program in applied physiology in Chicago. He received his master’s degree in 1994 and spent the summer doing research on how the HIV virus is passed on to infants during the birthing process. He subsequently published an article on the subject.
He enrolled in Chicago Medical School the following fall, where he excelled and was nominated into the national medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha. Christian graduated in June 1999 in the top 10 percent of his class, and passed the first two parts of the Medical Licensing Exam, scoring in the top 10 percent in the country.
In July, he began his residency at the University of California at San Diego in pediatrics. He was finally able to work with kids.
“I have always loved children and strongly desire to make a positive, direct impact on their lives,” Christian says. “Pediatrics allows me to accomplish this by ministering to their medical, practical, and spiritual needs. I realize as a new parent and soon-to-be pediatrician that kids need more than money to provide for their physical needs, and more than medicine to cure their disease. They need someone who is willing to be compassionate, selfless, and provide a role model that will assist them as they grow into adults.”
Christian and his wife, Lydia, who also served as a youth director at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Santa Barbara, now have their own child to care for — they are the parents of 1-year-old Grace Allene.