As a vein specialist in practice for a number of years, I have mentored a bunch of students who were thinking about going into medicine or other fields in health care. One of the common things they kvetch about…that all of us who went through it kvetched about…is “Why do I have to learn [fill in the blank] if it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the day-to-day activities involved with being a [doctor, PA, nurse,etc]?!!
My typical answer is something along the lines of “Well…you can’t build a house by starting at the roof; you need a foundation to build on”. F’rinstance, you need the chemistry to understand the pharmacology to choose the drug to fix the illness.
Saying this usually elicits a harumph, a sigh and a shoulder shrug…and then the mentee usually goes back and continues to slug it out with the books again.
While the statement about foundations is completely true, what’s hard to encapsulate is that the whole of education is actually greater than the sum of its parts. There’s this wonderful, magical kind of alchemy going on where your brain doesn’t just get bigger…physically it’s the same size…it’s just rewired such that you perceive things differently. And it goes beyond the things you were initially learning.
What I didn’t know, when I was slugging it out with the books in my Pre-Med and early med school days, was that the process itself…the journey…is as important as the destination. It’s helped me to be a problem-solver.
For example…I recently woke up in the middle of the night and I checked my phone to see if any calls/emails came in that I had to address. It turns out that a weird glitch was happening with my website relating to prospective patients trying to contact me to make an appointment.There are admittedly far worse “fires” to have to put out….like, um, REAL fires for example…but still, it needed a fix before things got out of hand.
If you didn’t already check out my bio, part of my background is in both Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine…I ended up doing 2 residencies, back to back [and then did even more training for vein-related stuff,too…but that’s for another post’s discussion]. Though it involved packing my brain with all kinds of information, useful [dealing with diabetes or asthma or annoying varicose and spider veins] and less so [Tsutsugamuchi fever?!]…the process as a whole turns one into a problem solving machine.
I have only a bit of knowledge about computers and web-related stuff. Certainly not enough to understand the root of the recent website problem. The other EXTREMELY important thing that people in health-related fields have to learn is embracing lack of knowledge…getting comfortable with losing your ego and saying “I don’t know” when you don’t…and then making an effort to find someone who does and/or hunt for answers yourself.
So…I called up the tech support people at 3am, rolled up the pajama sleeves and got to work. In the end, it was just a matter of diagnosing a problem, figuring out the etiology…how it happened in the first place…and then figuring out a solution. Using a team approach with tech support,through our collective problem-solving skills we worked through it in about 20 minutes.
There are many reasons why people go into medicine and other healthcare fields. A desire to help people and make a difference has to be #1. Beyond that, it’s also about the fact that solving problems is just really satisfying and most times a lot of fun!
A big part of why I love doing what I do is that I get to go diagnose and solve problems every day. I go to work and generally have fun. I’m pretty sure that fact creates a much more pleasant experience for my patients. Don’t take it from me, though…watch this new video to hear it from my patients themselves:
So…if you have problems that need addressing…primarily ones relating to chronic varicose veins and spider veins [I mean, I probably won’t be as helpful with things like mideast peace negotiations or solving the “cold fusion” problem]…I am here to help!
If you are ready to be part of my problem-solving team and start down the road that leads to your legs feeling and looking better than they have in years, grab your Sherlock hat and either call 847-272-8346 or click the button below to schedule your initial consultation appointment. See you soon!
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