It took me a while to figure out who I wanted to interview, I thought about the mailman, a store clerk, or someone just random on the street. It wasn't until I realized that my mother had access to a plethora of doctors, nurses, techs., etc... that I figured a member of a medical team would be appropriate. I wanted to interview someone that was in the medical profession because they are often times over-looked or lumped together and anonymous, despite their amazing work.
I spoke to a radiologist at Parkview Medical Hospital, Dr. Robert Abbott. I didn't want to focus on his work specifically since he isn't at liberty to share patient information anyway, I wanted to get to know more about him as a person, not just a doctor.
How long have you worked in radiology, including residency and education to get there?
A: "I went to medical school for 4 years and then was in residency for 5 years prior to the last 3 years working here at Parkview."
Was radiology, or more generally; medicine your first choice for occupation?
A: "My father was a doctor actually, so growing up, I had this feeling it was expected of me to be a doctor. I tried to be a lot of other things though, before giving up and making it through medical school. I received a finance degree before going to med. school even. I thought I might be a pilot, so I got a flying license, too. I also was part of the State Police; I like driving fast and thought it'd be awesome to ride with the siren on all the time. (After which he chuckled and shook his head). But the medical field is a very secure field. There will always be sick people after all."
What are the best part of your job?
A: "The best part, as cliche as it sounds is helping people. Nobody knows who their radiologist is, we just get the images and write down our notes, then send the images to the patient's doctor. At the same time, after looking at thousands of images, you can forget that these are actually living- sometimes dying people. It's really interesting when you get a thank you note or little card from someone that you read images for. I've never met this person, but I could have saved their life by spotting something on a computer monitor."
What is the worst part of your job?
A: "The worst would definitely be having to deal with the bureaucracy/politics of the hospital. Unfortunately, the people that make all the rules, most likely know nothing about the medicine or practise of what they're regulating and setting limitations on."
What motivates you to continue working here?
A: "Well, of course the financial aspect is wonderful. But other than that, the fact that there are always going to be sick people needing help. This is how I can help them and I find that fulfilling."
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to be in the medical field?
A: "Just be in it for the long haul. I'm 38 years old now, I spent 15 of those years getting training for this-and-that. Just start early if that's what you think you want to do. But, don't get discouraged by all the hoops you have to jump through, which there will be a lot of. If it takes you until you're 30 to get there, that's okay, you were going to be 30 eventually anyway."