My practice is succeeding when the patients and parents know that they always have a trusted partner that they can reach out to with questions and problems. It’s succeeding even more if I have helped them to anticipate the questions and problems, enabling them to make good observations and smart decisions, knowing that they have 24/7 backup.
Pediatrics is my niche – newborns to early adulthood. It’s impossible for me to choose a more narrow niche, because a four-month well visit is every bit as rewarding as helping an adolescent patient with a medical problem. Perhaps the appeal of pediatrics is that it’s on the favorable side of the “Riddle of the Sphinx” – most pediatric problems get better on their own if one knows what surprises and traps to watch out for.
The first thing that keeps me passionate about medical practice is that it’s my match, my Field of Dreams, the thing I feel that I was put here to do. Sure, when I was five years old I wanted to be an elevator operator, but now I never have a day when I seriously envy another vocation. Besides, there are no more elevator operator jobs.
The rise of the Electronic Health Record is a compelling trend, but I’m still on the fence about where it’s taking us. Having immediate, portable patient records is great, but I worry that the laptop is getting in the way of sitting down with the patient and making eye contact.
Being the parent of four fantastic children is simultaneously humbling and an honor. Does winning the church poker tournament a few years ago count as an accomplishment or award?
I enjoy hiking (especially in Central Oregon), photography, motorcycle rides with my wife (she has a Harley, and I’m temporarily stuck with a Honda), and Roller Derby.