S C R I P P S D O C O F F T H E C L O C K
Family medicine physician Julio Romero is a horror superfan The FRIGHT Stuff
HEN JULIO ROMERO, MD, IS RIDING WAVES OFF THE COAST, he’s not thinking about his form or the profound beauty of the ocean. As the Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Solana Beach, family medicine physician
Julio Romero, MD, cracks open a new Stephen King title at Verbatim Books in North Park.
paddles on in search of the perfect swell, he can’t help pondering what may lurk beneath. en the theme song starts running through his head… “e horror movie I saw that stuck with me the most was Jaws ,” he says. “I watched it when I was 6 years old, which I probably shouldn't have. I surf three times a week and I still think about Jaws .” It was spine-tingling lms from ’70s and ’80s, like Jaws , Alien , Gremlins and Friday the 13th , that rst piqued Dr. Romero’s interest in the horror genre. During his formative teen years, his book preferences followed suit, and Stephen King quickly rose to his number-one spot. “I just got hooked,” he says. “It gave me nightmares, but I kept coming back.” While he was growing up in Baja California and Chula Vista, Dr. Romero had a household hobby of swapping novels with his parents—both of whom were attorneys who tended to prefer nonction and autobiography. ey didn’t share his penchant for paperbacks and usually made it only a few chapters before tapping out. “ey would pick it up and have nightmares aer reading two or three chapters,” he says. “I could never get anyone to the nish!” His books also provided a much-needed reprieve during text- heavy medical school, especially the suspenseful, slow-burning style of Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Making time for his hobby is a healthy habit that he’s carried with him through the years, oen coming back multiple times to the same media (the lms of Insidious director James Wan are favorites). “at's my go-to place where I can take a time out,” he says. It’s entirely fair that some of Dr. Romero’s patients may nd his favorite subject matter somewhat morbid, but the principle of nding time for a hobby or activity you enjoy that’s unrelated to your day job—no matter what that may be—and maintaining work/life balance can benet anyone. e hobby doesn’t have to be goal-oriented or come saddled with high expectations; it’s rewarding simply to follow your curiosity and try something new. “It’s fun to step out of what you do every single day,” Dr. Romero says. “I try to implement that when I’m counseling patients or trying to get someone to connect to some sort of physical activity. e point is to nd whatever it is that gives you joy and that you can continue to do.”
TO FIND A SCRIPPS DOCTOR WHO IS RIGHT FOR YOU, VISIT SCRIPPS.ORG/SDDOC.
32 SAN DIEGO HEALTH | FALL 2021
Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator