Two questions that I hear often in my career…why did you decide to be a doctor? And would you do it all over again? I can’t always articulate the why but the simple answer is because it’s what I was meant to be. And I say be, not do, because it is a part of me, ingrained in who I am. I have known since I was three years old that I wanted to be a doctor (no joke), everything I have done since that decision, lead me on that path; never once did I waver from that journey.
I graduated from Des Moines University before completing residencies at Des Peres Hospital in St Louis and Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. Prior to becoming a trained family practice doctor, I completed a partial anesthesia residency but realized that it was not going to be long term fulfilling to me. Immediately after graduation, I worked for Methodist Physicians Clinic Family Practice for a short time but could feel the pressures of big hospital and insurances companies dictating to me how I should practice. I told myself that I got into medicine to serve and help people, not hospitals and insurance companies who were missing the point of quality patient care.
So I left and joined a company in Lincoln, NE called Freedom Healthcare. This was my first experience with regenerative medicine. I was hooked. My knowledge-base expanded to image guided-joint injections, platelet rich plasma, and stem cell therapies; helping people relieve their pains, get their life back, improve quality of life when it seemed there was no one else to help.
My hunger for knowledge and innovation and other ways that I can help continues to drive me. Approximately 5 years ago I added hormone replacement therapy and recently the cutting edge field of peptide therapy to my knowledge base. I am driven by helping my patients in any way that I can, looking outside the “standard” box and approaching their care from a multitude of angles. It’s not about the numbers on a sheet of paper or the “normal way” of patient care, it’s about how that person feels, their goals and what they want to achieve, and I get the privilege of helping them get to that point, often with therapies and ideas they didn’t know existed.
We have all been patients at one point in our lives, myself and those I love included; we want to know that we are getting the best care and that all options have been given to us to ensure that quality. That is what medicine is about to me. Caring, compassionate, real, honest and innovative. One of my defining quotes is from Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.” I love learning, new techniques, ideas, processes, etc. to keep not only myself on the forefront but to be able to offer that to my patients.
So to answer the second question at the beginning, without question YES! From the people who put their trust in me and allow me to help them, to the field of medicine itself which is constantly changing and evolving, it’s a thrilling time and I am honored to just be a part of it all.