Welcome to my little area in cyberspace. My name is Dominick D’Aunno. I was born in NY and now reside in Houston Texas. Why would I move so far from home? Well, I was motivated by a desire to work with NASA.
After college, I went on the merry go round of interviews for medical school and when I asked about Space Medicine, I was met with blank stares and glances questioning my sanity. I called NASA one afternoon and was told they work with a medical school in Houston, so I applied.
The University of Texas Medical School at Houston offered me an interview. Of course, it coincided with the very popular “Go Texan Day”. I thought I had arrived on a movie set. Everyone was dressed up their cowboy and cowgirl finest! I was dressed in a borrowed wool suit. I kind of stood out…
I realized later on that the good folks in Houston do not dress like that every day. I did manage to secure jeans, boots and a cowboy hat, though. Now the only thing that kept me from blending in was my very thick New York accent. It took many years of hard work to tone that down. I must confess it still slips out once in a while.
Graduating with honors, I finished up a residency in Internal Medicine and secured a few medical rotations at NASA. It felt like going home. I then began a subspecialty fellowship in Space Medicine and Physiology conducted with NASA and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
After my fellowship, I started working as a Physician Scientist at the Johnson Space Center, in the Cardiovascular Laboratory. By this time, I had also completed training as a Flight Surgeon with The US Air Force and NASA’s Flight Control Center.
Those were very exciting years and I am very proud of the research we accomplished.
With the decrease in Space Medicine and Physiology research opportunities, I had to shift paths and now I provide primary medical care to patients in various psychiatric hospitals and also to patients in residential treatment centers. My non-hospital patients are primarily those with Mental Retardation and Autism.
I have also been an avid reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy all of my life and have recently started writing in those genres. Houston has a wonderfully diverse and active writing community that has welcomed me warmly.