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#TDT Dr. Brian Moon… A day in the life of an Anesthesiologist!

Dr_Brian_MoonBrian W. Moon MD, Shasta Anesthesia Consultants, Inc, group president.

1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice?

Job title: Anesthesiologist.

I knew I wanted to become a doctor as I was interested in science and in providing care to people. In medical school, I did a rotation in anesthesia and I found it to be quite interesting; you got to do a lot of hands -on procedures while doing direct patient care. The application of pharmacology (medications) to alter patients’ physiology was fascinating to me.

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice?

One needs to be willing to put in long hours of study and training over many years in order to be successful in this field. Like all areas of medicine, you have to be able to maintain compassion for your patients even though you may be exhausted and under stress. On the upside, it is very rewarding to be able to use your skills and knowledge to help people, often in life and death situations. A high degree of interest in the physical sciences is required as well as discipline and professionalism thus making tattoos relatively frowned upon! You work with people often, whether they be patients of members of the operating room team.

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do and what kind of environment do you work in?

A typical day is difficult to describe as I work highly irregular hours. However, most of us will work from 630 am to 5pm on average weekdays with variable ending times. If we are on call, we will often work late into the night, especially if there are emergency cases. 4 of us will cover the weekends, 24 hours each day.
As an anesthesiologist, I am responsible for providing anesthesia to patients who are undergoing surgical procedures. Anesthesia includes amnesia (making patients unaware of their surgery), and analgesia ( preventing or reducing pain). I do this through the administration of medications that put the patients in a very deep sleep. These medication however often have negative effects on patients’ vital organs, primarily the heart, lungs and brain. Therefore, I must continually monitor vital sings to ensure patient safety. If a problem arises, I must act quickly to correct the problem to avoid patient injury. I can do this by giving more medications and/of performing procedures.

4. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest (specific majors/ how many years of schooling are required)?

I would suggest that anyone interested in anesthesia study physical sciences such as chemistry, physics, biology, biochemistry, anatomy.
Any major will be acceptable for applying to medical school as long as certain course requirements are met such as 2 years of chemistry, 1 year of biology and 1 year of physics. After high school, you must complete 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school and 4 years of specialty training called a residency.

5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

If this interests you, I would advise that you talk personally to an anesthesiologist and meet with your counselor to plan the next few years of schooling in order to optimize your chances of gaining acceptance to a good college and eventually, medical school.

6. Do you have a myth buster you would like to share about your field?

Anesthesiology is often depicted as an easy and boring specialty but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Under anesthesia, the patients are completely dependent upon you to get them through the surgery which can be very stressful at times, especially if they are undergoing emergency surgery such as life saving surgery following an automobile accident.

7. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction?

My path was far from linear. After graduating from college, I took a job with the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller. I did that job for 7 years before deciding to apply to medical school. One major factor in my decision was that I wanted to be more involved in helping people, i.e., more hands on work as opposed to just talking to pilots over a microphone. Also, I felt that a medical degree would open up more possibilities for me overall.

8. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

I am a fairly benevolent person, always seeking the best possible course of action that will benefit the patient. As group president, I try to seek what’s best for the greater good, and not just me.

9. What do you most enjoy about your career and what is the most difficult for you?

I enjoy the feeling that comes from knowing that I used my skills and knowledge to make someone’s life better, and, in some cases, that I played a part in saving their life.
The most difficult part is accepting a patient’s death, despite your best efforts. it is also very difficult in dealing with government regulations that focus more on following a set of rules rather than patient care.

10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

I would recommend volunteering at a hospital to see if you are comfortable in that setting.

11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

After high school, you will need 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, then 4 years of residency speciality training.

12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?

I would have likely stayed on with the FAA as a controller. That career was rewarding as well and I could have retired at a young age thereby allowing me to seek a second career path.

#TDT Pamela Salgado… A Day in the Life of a Physician Assistant!

As a Physician Assistant, I am able to spend more time with my patients providing excellent comprehensive, compassionate care.

1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice? IMG_4437-2

Pamela Salgado, PA-C (physician assistant certified)
I’ve been a PA for 5 years.
I currently work in Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgery.

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice? 

It’s very important for prospective PAs to be very hardworking, self motivated, independent and patient.

Employers look for someone who is dependable. Since working with sick patients, if very important for PAs to be compassionate about the field they are in. Employers need someone who will come in early and stay late.
If you have a lot of volunteer experience in medicine, even just shadowing another PA or physician in your free time, it can help with your application for the certification/graduate program.

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like? What exactly do you do?

I work part-time 7-5:30pm twice weekly. I work in a clinical setting and see patients that may need surgery to have their tonsils removed, have ear tubes placed or need a procedure completed in the office like removing cysts or cauterizing noses to help prevent future nosebleeds. There’s never a dull moment.

4. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field? What path would you suggest?

I recommend the premed route with a science major. I majored in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, which included all the prereqs needed to go into PA school or medical school. You can major in any field (even History), but the science classes will be extra work on top of your requirements depending on whichever major you choose in college.

5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

I recommend shadowing a PA to see if it’s something you want to do.

6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

People often think a PA is like a nurse. This is not correct. PAs have a large amount of autonomy (independence) to treat their own patients, order labs, prescribe medicine, assist in surgery, etc. They are overseen by a physician, but a physician does not need to be present for every patient. They are required to sign off on 5% of our charts (states vary on different rules and regulations for PAs).

7. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction?

I did not take a linear path. Throughout undergraduate school I was motivated to become a doctor. Once I graduated from school I worked in clinical research for 2 years and decided that I didn’t want to wait 5 or more years before I could start my career, especially with planning on starting a family in the near future. I discovered that PA school was only 2 years and I could work in any field and could still balance a work and family life without having to wait to begin my career.

8. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

My motivation to keep up with current research has helped me to expand my knowledge base and apply new findings to my current practice.

9. What do you most enjoy about your career?

I fell in love with the diversity of the field: seeing patients with hearing impairments to complex congenital diseases. I employ a wide range of skills including performing minor surgical procedures to complex in office endoscopies.

10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

Important work experience includes working in the medical field, in particular shadowing a physician assistant in a family practice setting. You’ll be able to see patients with various ailments and decide if helping people will spark your interests.

11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

A Bachelors Degree and a certification as a Physician Assistant. Many programs now offer a Masters Degree in Physician Assistant studies.

12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? And why?

If I wasn’t in this career field, I would be interested in working as a chaplain. This is someone who works with various populations to provide spiritual support during trying times, such as sickness and death, consoling families through trying times through prayer and scripture. This is a very difficult job and takes someone who is very strong willed and courageous.

 

Pamela’s favorite quote:

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.” -Woodrow Wilson

#TDT Dr. Randy Tate…A Day in the Life of a Facial Plastic Surgeon!

“Strive to excel and be the top of your field at whatever interests you the most.”

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1. What is your current job title and how did you decide on this career choice?

“I am a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.

I feel like the job chose me. I was introduced to medicine at an early age and was aware that the profession would be both challenging and gratifying. I’ve always had an interest in science and animals which is why my family always assumed I’d be a veterinarian. During high school, I knew I wanted to be a physician, however, many medical students don’t always know until they are in college.”

2. What types of qualities are important for this career choice? (What do employers look for?)

“Medical schools look for aptitude, discipline, talent, and well-roundedness. For facial plastics specifically, programs look for delicate hands, and a discerning eye.”

3. What is a typical day or week in your position like?

“A typical day provides a mix of activities. Surgeries 2-3 x/week. Office consultations 2-3x/week. Injections of botox/fillers, laser procedures, skin cancer removals, facial fracture repairs, cosmetic procedures, skin lacerations/scarring.”

4. What areas of study would you suggest for kids interested in your field?

“Areas of studies recommended: math, science, art, language. Many times, medical students that are chosen for presitigious schools have a degree in something other than science. Medical schools look for well-rounded, bright students who are good with people.”

5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

“Strive to excel and be the top of your field at whatever interests you the most.”

6.What is one myth buster you would like to share about your field?

“Myth buster: Facial plastics is not only ‘cosmetic’.”

7. Did you take a linear path to get here? If not, what were some pivotal points that changed your direction?

“In general it is a fairly linear path to this profession. I knew many medical students who took time off before entering medical school and residency to travel or just take a break. There were also a few students that had families or started medical school much later in life.”

8. What personal qualities have helped you succeed in your career?

“Personal qualities that helped me: competitiveness, and discipline.”

9. What do you most enjoy about your career?

“Most enjoyable part of career is the happiness and joy that I can bring to patients by improving on appearance or preventing disfigurement.”

10. What kind of work experience as a student would be the most beneficial for this career?

“Work experience recommended:

1. Volunteer at a hospital,

2. Volunteer as a medical aid personnel.

3. Community service”

11. What education or training is required, if any, to reach your position?

“Education required: 14 years post high school: Bachelors degree (4 years), Medical school (4 years), Otolaryngology/Head and neck surgery residency (5 years), Specialized Fellowship (1 year)”

12. If you weren’t in this career field, what other career would you be interested in? and why?

“Other career interests: Professional soccer, International business, Law. Love to travel. Love a great debate.”