Why did you decide to become a doctor?
My favorite class in high school was biology. I was born into a family where my father, my brother and one of my sisters were all doctors. Their influence on me was definitive. Seeing what my father did as a general surgeon and being able to work and help people in a small town or in a metropolis helped me decide to choose this wonderful profession. My mother and one of my sisters are also in the medical field as clinical psychologists.
Is it different than you thought? How?
It’s different in the way that not only do you have to be involved in the medical decisions and patient care, but you also need to be involved in practice management. At medical school there is minimal instruction about management, so it’s key to have a good administration to handle those issues.
What is the biggest misconception about your field?
The biggest misconception that some patients have is that they use the emergency room for many medical problems that can be handled in an outpatient clinic or in an elective way.
What is your opinion of Managed Care and how will this affect you?
Managed care locks the patients that are enrolled in the system to certain doctors or hospitals. What this does is restrict the options for patients, and they have to choose from the ones that are in their program.
It is designed to lower the cost of healthcare, but we don’t know if it will. I don’t know how it will affect our practice or our training program. It will cover more patients with insurance, but the quality of care will not be the same overall. The waiting time for surgeries, the waiting time for approval of diagnostic tests that already are questioned by other doctors or administrators not even in the same specialty, will delay treatment.
We as physicians can reduce the cost of healthcare also, but, many times we are also responsible for part of the problem. As an xample, I got a phone call for a referral of a patient that was injured in a town near Louisville. I accepted the patient. The ER doctor referring the patient said he was sending the patient by helicopter. It was not a life-threatening condition, or limb loss situation, so it was not necessary to send the patient by air. Unfortunately, the patient was sent in a helicopter for an injury that was treated by us in the emergency room.
What’s one thing your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?
At some point in my life I considered being a graphic designer.
What’s the best advice you ever received? Who gave it to you?
“No matter how many times you are knocked down, stand up and fight again for what you want.” My mother.
What’s the last good book you read?
Pep Guardiola: Another way of Winning – The Biography (Orion, 2012) by Guillem Balague.
Favorite daytime beverage?
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