One morning I stopped at a local Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee before morning rounds at the hospital. I was in scrubs. While in line, Roger introduced himself and asked, “What kind of doctor are you?” “I’m an urologist,” I replied. He asked if I ever dealt with cancer. I told him I did. A large part of my practice involves the management of prostate, kidney, and bladder cancer. What followed was a wonderfully honest and inspiring story of his 17-year battle with lymphoma.
I was taken back, honored, and humbled by the most unquestioned expectation of trust and empathy that Roger assumed and humbly expected at the onset of our conversation. The confidence with which he shared his personal and intimate story with me, a complete stranger, simply because I was a physician, was truly amazing to me.
Unfortunately, moments like these are becoming less frequent in today’s health care environment. They are, however, important. These are the moments that spark our passion for the art of medicine. They motivate us to put in the hours through medical school, residency, and fellowship. They drive us to get up early, to come home late, and to sacrifice day in and day out to make sure we respect and take the utmost care of the trust and confidence our patients and our communities expect of us as their doctors.
As a young surgeon, I take a great deal of pride in caring for my patients, a lesson learned from a lifetime of watching both of my physician parents embody the epitome of the patient advocate. However, as I began my career, I was very surprised at how often physicians are vilified as the source of all that is wrong with medicine today. When the opportunity arose to host my radio show, The Conversation, I saw it as a medium well suited to showcase the role of the physician as an educator, a lifetime student, a scientist, an innovator, a confidant, and, most importantly, a patient advocate. On The Conversation, we discuss the most current trends in health care as they relate to our patients, our colleagues, and our listening audience. We also keep our listeners up to date on the newest medical advances and help them stay informed on the politics of health care. I am excited to partner with leaders in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in the near future for a series of shows educating us all about the many proactive and innovative strides the ACS is taking as an advocate for surgeons, physicians, and our patients in the world of health care policy on the national stage.
Navigating the world of health can be a challenge, and real answers are often hard to come by. The Conversation aims to engage our patients, our colleagues, and our audience in the discussion necessary to answer those questions.
Join the conversation!
Listen live at WOKV.com every Saturday from 5:00 to 6:00 pm EST. Call into the show at 904-340-1045.
View / Download the 2014 Board of Governors Newsletter Fall Edition here: