COMPASSION IS WHAT SUSTAINS ME: CAROL COTTRILL

It seems so fitting that Carol Cottrill’s medical specialty is the hearts of children - both physical and emotional. Her career path began when her 4th child was born with congenital heart disease.  Growing up on a family farm, she learned to balance compassion and necessity, a skill she would use in caring for her daughter and later during 18 years as medical director of UK’s pediatric ICU. Her daughter’s illness introduced her to wonderfully compassionate doctors and nurses who….

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FRIEND TO THOSE WHO ARE AILING: DANESH MAZLOOMDOOST, MD

Danesh Mazloomdoost, MD has inherited a tradition reflected in his name itself. In his family’s native Iran, Mazloomdoost means “friend to those who are ailing.” His life in medicine seems almost preordained by his family history. His father (a U.S. trained anesthesiologist who specialized in pain management) and mother (who trained in anesthesiology in Iran and retrained in psychiatry in the U.S.) built their practice around a comprehensive mind-body approach to pain management, long before such….

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SUSTAINING AN ALTRUISTIC SPIRIT: TERRY BARRETT

Terry Barrett is Chief of the Gastroenterology Division of the Department of Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He came to Lexington in 2013 from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.  Becoming a Doctor.   Although there were no doctors in his family, he always felt a parental expectation of excellence and high achievement. He had a poor impression of the competitive nature of pre-medical education he witnessed among his peers.

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or enough time to do things to recharge my batteries. I started being short and impatient with my co-workers. My strategy was to refocus on caring for patients and being the best physician I could be until I could get more help with some of my responsibilities.


What is your go-to stress reliever?

“My favorite things to relieve stress are biking, hiking and basketball. Nothing is better than a good bike ride with friends. A very close friend was a truly selfless person who never did enough for himself. When he died of lung cancer, I wanted to avoid the same mistake of neglecting myself, so I rewarded myself and bought a nice bike. I ride regularly as weather permits, alone or with friends, and it has been very important in maintaining my health and happiness.”


Talk about your mission work and your personal mission.

“I am actively involved with UK’s Shoulder to Shoulder Global in India and Ecuador, caring for children with special needs. A multidisciplinary team from UK, including physicians, residents, medical students, special education teachers and students and physical therapists and physical therapy students travels once a year to India and several times a year to Ecuador.”


“In India, we assess children who often have very little schooling due to the socially stigmatizing nature of their conditions- cerebral palsy, neurological, behavioral and congenital problems. They aren’t well accepted by childhood peers or the general society, which often believes ‘nothing can be done for them.’ The local community now finally embraces the center in which we provide special education, speech and physical therapy as well as staff training remotely throughout the year for questions about care plans.”


“In Ecuador, we maintain a primary care clinic in an underserved area of Santo Domingo. We have an Ecuadorian physician and staff that are there full-time. Three to four times a year, a ‘brigade’ from UK travels there, including physicians, residents, medical students, nurse practitioners and nurse practitioner students, nurses and nursing students, physical therapists and physical therapy students and pharmacists and pharmacy students. We provide people with medications and therapy for acute and chronic medical problems.”


“I like being part of Shoulder to Shoulder because of the true partnership with organizations and people in Ecuador and India. I also like the continuity of care and team approach to patient care. These are often lacking in international health missions. I got interested in international health as an opportunity to understand the world better. When you travel to other countries as a tourist, people don’t usually invite you into their lives- we are kind of peering through the window at their lives. But when you come as part of a medical mission, people want you to understand their lives better and you get to walk in through the front door. As in all of medicine, when I see patients, I do my best to let them know I care about them and try to help them to understand their medical problems better and have a healthier life. They come to us for more than disease treatment. They also want to be cared for by people who care about them.”


How can we help our residents and students navigate these stressful times in medicine and society?

“They need to take time to recharge their batteries. It’s important they remember that medicine is not perfect and neither are physicians. We will wonder if we could have done a better job. Maintaining a sense of mission in our work can help. Medicine can be very stressful and complicated. I think spending time getting to know your patients and finding fulfillment in being able to help them makes the job bearable in difficult times. I frequently tell residents and students what a great job we have as physicians. We get to help others and be paid well for it and we generally are respected by society for what we do. I can’t think of a career that is more challenging and fulfilling.”


Mike is advisor to the Kentucky Cystic Fibrosis Support Group, which helps patients with relief from financial and social stressors. He participates in the annual Great Strides Walk of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He says “I am not particularly religious but I believe in something beyond myself. I believe I was put on this Earth to help my patients. That helps me get through difficult times.”


This interview was conducted remotely while Mike Anstead was on a UK Shoulder to Shoulder medical mission in India.   

Mike Anstead MD is an adult and pediatric pulmonologist at UK and a cystic fibrosis specialist.


Growing up in Covington and attending Northern Kentucky University, he worked as a lab tech at St. Elizabeth Hospital. He enjoyed being part of the care team alongside family practice residents and envisioned being a family practice physician.


Why Med-Peds?

“During medical school, I had great experiences in pediatrics and internal medicine. I also had a mentor who taught physical diagnosis, Dr. Burki, who was a pulmonary and critical care physician. I loved caring for children but also liked the complicated problem-solving of adult medicine. The responsibility and autonomy we were given on the medicine rotations was exciting to me. I had a medicine-pediatrics intern who was a great role model, so I decided to do an internal medicine-pediatrics residency.”


Why pulmonary?

“As a resident, I really enjoyed my months in the adult and pediatric intensive care units caring for the sickest patients. I decided to do a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at UK and began caring for cystic fibrosis patients. When one of the pediatric pulmonologists left UK, Jamshed Kanga, the division chief for pediatric pulmonary and a mentor to me, asked if I would cover some weekends for

BY JOHN A. PATTERSON MD, MSPH, FAAFP

burdensome disease. New medications and treatment strategies became available each year, allowing us to offer a little more hope for patients and their families. When one of my patients lost their battle with this terrible disease, I took solace in knowing I had helped them as much as possible and at least made their journey a little easier. I knew I was there in the trenches with them- standing in their shoes. I think of them as both patients and friends-seeing them as people rather than as their disease.”


Have you ever felt burned out?

“I had one period where I felt burned out. I took over as interim medical director for lung transplant a few years ago. I had help from other pulmonologists but spent a lot of time in the hospital, worrying about and caring for these complex patients. I still had all my other duties as a pediatric pulmonologist, director of the adult cystic fibrosis center and director of our Therapeutic Development Center for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where we research new therapies for cystic fibrosis.”


“There was never enough time to think about patients who were not doing well or consult with colleagues for their ideas. I also didn’t have enough time with family

JOHN A. PATTERSON MD, MSPH, FAAFP

Dr Patterson chairs the Lexington Medical

Senator Alvarado earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Loma Linda University (California) in 1990, and then went on to receive his Doctorate in Medicine in 1994. He completed his medical residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Kentucky in 1998. Society's Physician Wellness Commission and is certified in Physician Coaching. He is on the family practice faculty UK College of Medicine and teaches nationally for Saybrook School of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences (San Francisco) and the Center for Mind Body Medicine (Washington, DC). After 30 years in private family practice in Irvine KY, he now operates the Mind Body Studio in Lexington, where he offers integrative mind-body medicine consultations specializing in mindfulness-based approaches to stress-related chronic conditions and burnout prevention for helping professionals. He can be reached through his website at www.mindbodystudio.org

him.” Dr. Kanga describes Mike as “one of the most caring physicians I know, going out of his way to care for patients, such as making rounds when not on call. He is the reason the adult CF program exists. Most pulmonologists aren’t well-trained in adult CF and aren’t comfortable with their care.


Why CF, knowing many of your patients will die young?

“I found caring for the pediatric pulmonary patients interesting and challenging. It can be tragic but also deeply satisfying work. I really bonded with patients and their families, especially the cystic fibrosis patients. I found great satisfaction helping patients and families deal with this terrible,