I will be honest but my dream job growing up was to be a whale trainer. You know….the ones at Sea World (this was before I knew the controversy of keeping animals in captivity!). What attracted me to whale training was showing the beauty of a huge and sometimes scary and vicious animal that most people would fear in the wild.
My father was a physician and so the idea of working in medicine was not far fetched. In fact, I loved science and I was good at it! My entire family would ask me, “So, do you want to be a doctor like your dad?” which was a constant reminder of what I could do or perhaps what I should do.
Just like any child, I didn’t want to be told what to do! So I was “defiant” for a while and searched for professions that were outside of medicine; however, I kept coming back to the idea of working with patients. After the twin towers came crashing down on 9/11/2001, I felt my calling to devote my life to service for the sick, the dying and the oppressed. I applied to medical school and chose the school that offered a dual MBA degree. The reason for this was that I wanted to learn how hospitals ran and what the healthcare system regulations were to be able to help patients and physicians. My goal was to make the hospital a less scary place for all who use it. Kind of like whale training….I landed my dream job as a physician.
The reason I focussed on Emergency Medicine is that I loved the diversity of illness I would be exposed to everyday. I also enjoy teaching patients and although the environment is fast paced, the patients are listening because they came to the hospital scared from their emergency. Counseling patients in that moment is really helpful to have a captive audience and I sometimes even get written letters and cards from my patients thanking me for my brief but powerful teaching moments I provide at the bedside.
I am so happy and fulfilled in my career that I want to carry that education to all patients who may never meet me in this traditional role in the hospital. Thank you for reading my story and I hope to be of service to you here on Doctorpedia!