Your Stories: This is Why I LOVE Medicine

By Scrubadoo’s Jen Hankin

There always comes a time when you have that “aha” moment. The moment when you realize “I was born to do this. I love what I do and I’m better for it.” Those moments when you want to scream, “I LOVE MEDICINE!” In this month’s Your Stories we’ve got Part 1: on why you love what you do:

“I am a plastic surgeon in Bellevue, Washington. I was convinced I had chosen the right profession after four years of medical school and eight years of residency. Throughout my training, there was little doubt, but the final “aha” moment happened near the very end of it. I was part of a team that took part of a man’s fibula and the overlying skin and used this to reconstruct his jaw. Dissecting those structures, maintaining the blood supply, connecting the vessels in the neck, and securing the bone in its new place…well, it was amazing, to say the least. Plastic surgery is definitely about changing lives in a very real, visible, and often functional way. I wouldn’t have chosen any other career.”

–Bryan C. McIntosh, MD: Puget Sound Plastic Surgical Group, PLLC

“We all grow up reading in school. A book is a pile of paper with words on it that, when viewed carefully and thoughtfully, can stir the imagination, take you to faraway places, and let you into the minds of others. Well, I first fell in love with medicine when I realized that patients, in a way, are like books. The surface of their skin, the movement of their eyes, the tilt of their head, their posture, their walk, they way that they talk, how they shake your hand and what they tell you all tell you is all a part of their story. It is there for the reading.”

–Dr. Paul Turek, FACS, FRSM; Director, The Turek Clinic – Awarded 2011 National Institutes Of Health (NIH) Grant

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do at the end of medical school so I went through a rotating internship. Two months of an obstetrics rotation provided that “aha!” moment. I loved taking care of women; they were easier to relate to and they weren’t hell-bent on self-destruction like men. I started delivering babies in 1980 and I’ve been doing it ever since. I’ll do this as long as I can manage.”

–David A.Rivera, MD, FACOG

“I didn’t have lunch at all last Thursday, because I had a one hour melanoma surgery I had to do on a patient, who is only 35 years old. I saw this little brown spot on her and it clearly did NOT look like a melanoma (at least how it is described in all the textbooks!) I had a bad feeling about it and biopsied it and it proved to be a superficial melanoma. 

It is so hard to study for 13 years after high school, and was very hard to become a dermatologist. However, on a day like last Thursday, I saved a life! It was incredible! It was not as dramatic as ER. In fact, if she had gone to a medi-spa, they would have likely lasered the spot and missed it as a cancer, and she would not have lived to be 40 in all likelihood. So despite the jokes (yes family and friends, even some colleagues!) of dermatologists being “pimple-poppers”, we do save lives. 

I love being able to make a difference. I love that my contribution is not just measured in a paycheck, but has  a spiritual value.” 

–Tanya Kormeili, MD, FAAD


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4 thoughts on “Your Stories: This is Why I LOVE Medicine”

  1. Hi There Jen,
    Interesting Post, I couldn’t help bursting out into laughter when I saw a friend of mine with a napkin in her hand and weeping as she read, ‘PS I Love You’. She felt embarrassed seeing me and chided me for dashing into the room like that. I teased her for being such a weepy person and she protested that the story was really heart touching. That was when I started wondering why people read sad love stories if that made them sad and brought tears to their eyes. I was never a fan of sad love stories but was determined to find the pleasure of it.

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