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Founding Medical Partner: Steve Garber, MD

July 6, 2022

INTERVIEW WITH STEVE GARBER, MD

 

What guided your decision to go into medicine and specifically, your chosen field?

 

My decision to pursue medicine was an offshoot of my interest in biology. I started off as an oceanography major at UCSB and realizing that my study of biology could provide the gateway to medicine, I went for it. I still love the ocean and am down there almost every day! As far as my chosen field of anesthesia, I tell people, “I did not pick the field of anesthesia, it picked me!” Honestly, when I did my first rotation in anesthesia as a medical student I was blown away, both by the knowledge base required and the hands-on care that is necessary from starting IVs to intubation skills and lots of other really cool stuff. Basically, an anesthesiologist is both a physiologist and a pharmacologist; you use the pharmacology to modify the physiology to render the patient ignorant of the pain.

 

I love to do procedures including inserting IVs, epidurals, intubation and spinals. For me, anesthesia combined all of the things I enjoyed in medicine: physiology, pharmacology and procedures. When I was exposed to obstetric anesthesia, an entire new discipline opened up. I was fascinated with the field – taking care of two patients simultaneously: mother and baby. Offering immediate pain relief to a laboring mom who is so appreciative is incredibly rewarding. Witnessing a new life entering the world is miraculous every time I see it. I have been so fortunate and privileged to practice my craft at the highest level. I love working with many medical professionals who are sincere and dedicated to providing the absolutely best care available.

“Patients need to feel comfortable in your care. If you are knowledgeable and confident with your skill level, your patient will realize that in the way you carry yourself.”

 

 

Have you ever been a patient, and if so, what did it teach you?

 

I have been a patient several times, and it is quite an experience being on “the other side of the curtain”. There really is no other field of work that compares to medicine, and everyone involved has an important part to play. As a patient I was able to watch the “production” play out, being in the center of it. As patients, we trust our care team to watch over and take care of us. As a physician, I realize what a privilege it is to serve, to know that my patient is trusting me with their life, to keep them safe and free of discomfort. When you take a step back and look at what we do as anesthesiologists, it is both humbling and immensely satisfying: We are charged to protect and provide the safest and highest quality care – what an honor.

What are the most important qualities for a doctor to have?

 

It is important for a doctor to be calm, reassuring, have a sense of humor and attention to detail, stay updated on the latest practices, and be confident in their speciality.

 

What is the most important factor in the doctor/patient relationship and why?

 

Anesthesiologists have a unique relationship with their patients. We meet and within minutes we are in the OR, or placing an epidural in the labor and delivery suite. Trust that your anesthesiologist is going to protect and take care of you is paramount. Patients need to feel comfortable in your care. If you are knowledgeable and confident with your skill level, your patient will realize that in the way you carry yourself.

What makes you different from other doctors in your field?

 

I am always searching for ways to improve the care for my patients, whether it be a medication, device, or technique. I am working with several companies presently as a physician champion, helping spread the word and also helping develop the products to be as useful as possible. I am passionate and energetic about trying to show other anesthesiologists ways in which they can increase safety and quality of their programs. I have helped develop the protocol at our institution that has reduced opioid consumption for cesarean section moms by over 80%. I am serious about trying to prevent moms from becoming persistent opioid users after they have had their baby. I have travelled the country speaking about all of these exciting topics.

 

What is your favorite activity outside of work?

 

I love being outdoors and in the water, whether it be at the pool or the beach. I really enjoy exercise, and try to exercise 6 days a week. I am also a drummer in a cover rock band called Bad Habit that plays all over Orange County, CA.

My dog Charlie is by my side as much as possible, he loves the beach and the water as much as I do!

You recently joined the Doctorpedia team as a Founding Medical Partner. What about Doctorpedia resonates with your personal and professional mission?

 

I am super stoked about joining Doctorpedia as a founding member. Look, there is SO MUCH disinformation out there when it comes to obstetric anesthesia. Many women are terrified about going into labor – the fear of the pain and the fear of having an epidural. There is no reason for any of it. I am planning on presenting the essentials of having a safe and pleasurable birth experience, whether it is labor and delivery, or a CS. Women – and men – need a reliable and trustworthy site they can depend on, which is interactive as well. The concept is extremely exciting and I am looking forward to taking our partnership to the next level.

 

What problem do patients face that Doctorpedia can help solve?

 

Doctorpedia can help educate and provide real, trusted, peer reviewed information in an easy to understand and entertaining format. Everyone is online, and is gathering information at an astounding rate, much of it not accurate. I am so looking forward to being involved with an organization providing reliable info online.

 

“I am super stoked about joining Doctorpedia as a founding member. Look, there is SO MUCH disinformation out there when it comes to obstetric anesthesia. Many women are terrified about going into labor – the fear of the pain and the fear of having an epidural. There is no reason for any of it.”

 

If you could spend a day with any person in the world (dead or alive) – who would you choose?

 

Tony Robbins

 

What would you do for a living if you weren’t a doctor?

 

If I were not a doctor, I would be playing drums in a rock band full time.

Doctor Profile

Steve Garber, MD

Obstetric Anesthesiologist

Dr. Garber is a fellowship trained Obstetric Anesthesiologist with over 30 years experience directing and delivering care at a high acuity medical center in Laguna Hills, CA. He was instrumental in obtaining the Center of Excellence designation for Obstetric Anesthesia at Saddleback Hospital, under the auspices of the Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology, SOAP.

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