Feb 24 • 12M

You can't just "mail it in"

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My thoughts, experiences, and lessons learned as they pertain to medicine and life. I’ll be challenging your beliefs, perspectives, and actions. I want you to realize your worth, so that you can be a part of the necessary change our children deserve. I’m forever grateful to do something I love and for the opportunity to leave this world a better place. You deserve better. Our children deserve better. We deserve better.
Episode details

Today, we’ll be getting into the first sections of the book I’m in the midst of writing. Last week I announced that I’d publish the chapters for free on Substack as I write them.

Please keep in mind that everything that is being written and recorded is a very rough draft; it’s semi-polished. But I want to get these thoughts out to the public quickly. This way, I can get feedback quickly so that I can continue to refine my thoughts.

The entire premise of the book is my perspective on how to live a happy and fulfilled life as a clinician.

I hope that my experiences help shed a new perspective and challenge your current beliefs to improve your life as a whole.

Before we get into that, I’d like to share a quick update regarding my daughter Chloe…

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Immune Thrombocytopenia & Lupus Antibodies.

I’ve written extensively about the journey my wife, and I have been going through to figure out what is driving the abnormalities in our daughter’s lab work.

The idea behind sharing is to:

  • Help educate you on a clinical presentation that isn’t all too common

  • Share the perspective of the father as his daughter goes through an extensive medical workup

  • Improve your communication with patients

Ultimately, my goal is to give you information so that you can take what serves you and then discard the rest.

For those who have been following along, I’d like to share a quick update as to where we are. We weighed the pros and cons of whole-exome vs. whole-genome sequencing but ultimately decided to move forward with whole-genome sequencing.

Whole-genome sequencing is not covered at 100% by insurance, and it’s a significant difference when compared with whole-exome sequencing. The whole-exome is a couple of hundred dollars out of pocket, while the whole-genome is $4,000 out of pocket. But, it will give us the most information, even if the gap between the two tests in terms of usefulness is very small.

It will take about three months to get the results from that test.

From a rheumatology standpoint, we’ll repeat labs next month to see if her results, related to lupus, continue to resolve. Hopefully, this was drug-induced lupus superimposed with immune thrombocytopenia.

All other labs that would categorize this as an active disease are currently normal; this buys us time to gather more information before having to proceed with a new medication.

Lastly, we’re still waiting for all the labs to return from immunology.

Aside from that, Chloe is stable and doing well. She has just recovered from a cold, where the virus led to an increase in nosebleeds due to bone marrow suppression (further driving down her platelet count). These nose bleeds would wake Chloe up a couple of times per night as the blood would clog her nose, making it difficult to breathe.

Because of this, we used tranexamic acid for the first time. We crushed the tablet, mixed it with her milk, and Chloe drank it easily without any adverse reactions. I’m definitely grateful this was prescribed.

We have an appointment with rheumatology next week and a follow-up with immunology in one month. So, I’ll keep everyone updated as we gather more information.

Now, I’d like to shift focus and get into the very first section of the book…

You can't just "mail it in"

I started Medgeeks in 2013 to help students and clinicians advance their core medical knowledge. 

When I started PA school at UC Davis in 2010, there weren't any quality resources I could turn to. Everything was either oversimplified or overly complicated. 

As soon as I graduated in 2012, I made it my mission to create the best high-yield review on the market to help students master medicine. I created the resources I wish I had in school. Simultaneously, I worked full-time in primary care and OBGYN as a solo provider (talk about learning at an accelerated pace). 

The more I practiced, the more I realized how unprepared I was for real-world medicine. I wasn't lacking medical knowledge per se, but I realized my program didn't address the nuances of real-life application and the day-to-day realities that come with the practice of medicine.  

Because I started Medgeeks, I was fortunate to have thousands of conversations with practicing PAs, NPs, and physicians over the years. Everyone I spoke with felt the same, and I quickly realized I wasn't alone. 

I noticed that many students and clinicians focus only on the disease process but tend to neglect everything else because they don't view it as equally important. But once in practice, everyone quickly realizes they have an incomplete picture of how things really work.

After all, school prepares you to diagnose and manage the hundreds of diseases you're expected to know once you graduate. Because of this, we only spend our time learning about disease and pharmacotherapy. 

Don't get me wrong; this is 100% necessary. Medical education is structured that way because you do manage diseases. Your clinical knowledge is essential.

But, I found that clinicians struggle to move beyond this approach. They fail to understand there's an underlying problem. Because of this, clinicians fail to address other vital components of their life until they burn out.

My goal is to help you live a fulfilled life you love so that you're practicing medicine to the best of your abilities. 

Medicine is a profession where you can't just "mail it in."

  • You will make mistakes if you don't have the core medical knowledge

  • You will make mistakes if you aren't fully present

  • You will make mistakes if you burn out

All these mistakes are at the expense of another human being's health.

You must take a holistic approach and address every part of your life; everything is interconnected, whether you realize it or not. You can't affect one part of your life without affecting another part. Therefore, if we neglect one part of the equation, the clinician is at risk for burnout.

Burnout, in turn, leads to medical errors.

As a result, the patient and clinician suffer.

Because of this, we can't just compartmentalize your professional and personal life in two separate silos; they must live in unison. 

Remember, you can only help your patients by first helping yourself.

Next week, we’ll start getting into the meat and potatoes of the content.

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