At a time in everyone’s life, we come to find ourselves in a situation where the music stops, and we must go on.  The unfortunate truth about life is that the unexpected will happen. Some of us learn from it, some of us change because of it and some of us find our life’s calling because of it. The latter was the case for me.  After our dad picked us up from middle school, we spent that afternoon like we had every afternoon that month. We went to the oncology unit at the hospital, where my brother was admitted.



I remember him. I remember the man in the dark blue sarong the same way I remember the lines on back of my own hand. He was hunched over next to a column on a dirty platform at a railway station in Calcutta, India in the middle of the harsh summer sun. His hands were withered, his fingers and toes looked like tiny nubs, and he was completely malnourished and alone. He had opaque blue eyes, as if fog had taken place of his irises and pupils.



I studied insects in college; my favorite insects were the bees (I found them diligent and so helpful to humankind).  One of my favorite classes was about medical diseases caused by insects. My professors noticed my interest in the medical side of things and connected me with a professor who did clinical research. Our work focused on a clinical trial for children with intractable epilepsy and exposed me early on to patient care and patients.


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You may not have time to commit to the Kentucky Medical Association and/or Lexington Medical Society, but you can support your colleagues by becoming a KMA and/or LMS member. Other colleagues may have more time to commit; but, these people want/need your support. You may not have time to mentor a younger colleague, but you most definitely have valuable wisdom to share. Each and everyone of you have gained tremendous insight after many years of practicing medicine. Please share. Make a difference in your colleagues’ lives.

The Kentucky Doc magazine was created specifically for Kentucky doctors. The magazine’s contributors and editors are Kentucky doctors. Most of the editors are members of the Lexington Medical Society. We want to write articles that interest you! Please communicate with us! Tell us what you want to read. We want to share stories about you and your accomplishments. We want you to share your thoughts and experiences. But, most importantly, we want you to build relationships with your fellow Kentuckian physicians.  Sharing yourself reveals the person we all want to meet.

I believe I have shared with you through my prior writings. I believe you all know me much more now. Your colleagues and I want to learn about you and your thoughts. It’s your turn to share. I encourage each and everyone of you to contribute what you have to offer, little or much, to the Kentucky Doc magazine so that we can all learn something about you. The Kentucky Doc Editorial Board wants you!

To contribute, please visit

I believe that most of us feel very satisfied, rewarded, with our choice to become a doctor. Whether you are a psychiatrist, primary care, emergency doctor, or surgeon, your everyday work and interventions save lives.

Each of us can probably remember the first time we experienced that indescribable warm and fuzzy feeling inside after a healing intervention. Remember how elated you felt when a patient or family member sincerely said, “Thank you?” It’s hard for me to imagine a greater reward.  It’s an incredible feeling and few other professions can claim such rewards.

Many of us responded to the call of medicine because we wanted to make a difference. How each of us chose to implement that difference varied depending upon our background and experiences.  That is, we each chose a specialty in medicine to help patients in the best way that we could. Because of you, many people will have a 2nd chance at life.  You definitely made a difference in your patients’ lives. But, why stop with offering your expertise and experiences to patients?  You can tremendously impact the futures of many of your colleagues! Impart your wisdom to prevent other doctors from making career mistakes or more importantly, provide guidance to other doctors who want to achieve success! You have made a difference to many patients’ lives. Expand your reach to make a difference to other doctors.

For example, I was very content with my life prior to my involvement


with the Lexington Medical Society (LMS) and Kentucky Medical Association (KMA). I had a daytime job working at the Lexington VA (ED and hospitalist) and I established a private practice treating opioid addiction.  Dr. Dale Toney, a very influential person in my life, recruited me to join the Lexington Medical Society. (He also recruited me to join the UK IRB.) The LMS will provide you with tremendous opportunities to network and expose you to the world of organized medicine where you can choose to make a difference. Dr. David Bensema, another very influential person in my life, generously offered to mentor me through this very complex world we call politics/ legislation. If you want to make a difference, you need to understand the rules. I can continue for pages listing multiple people who have made a difference in my life, but I will spare you the misery except to summarize that each and every person I have had the privilege to meet at LMS and KMA have been tremendous leaders who served their patients, communities, and fellow physicians. Without hesitation, I can attest that each of these leaders made a difference in my life and many Kentuckians.

We have busy lives. It’s a struggle to juggle our many responsibilities and simultaneously balance work, family and life. Time becomes a very scarce commodity.  And, there are so many priorities vying for that precious time.


Tuyen Tran, MD emigrated from South Vietnam after the war. He completed his undergraduate in biology/chemistry and medical school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in a six year program. His is currently boarded in internal medicine and addiction medicine.