It seems so fitting that Carol Cottrill’s medical specialty is the hearts of children -
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-
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-
Latonia Rice Sweet MD is Chief Medical Officer of Bluegrass Regional Mental Health (aka Bluegrass and formerly known as Comprehensive Care). I first met her in 1999 when she spent her 3rd year medical school family practice rotation in my office in Irvine (Estill County). She lived in Clark County, only 20 miles from my office, having chosen to attend classes in Lexington but live on a farm closer to her family’s Eastern Kentucky culture.
John D. Stewart II, past president of Lexington Medical Society (1997), retired 3 months ago after 32 years with Fayette Surgical Associates. He was managing partner the last 14 years. As a member of a large, high volume surgical practice, he was much admired by staff, colleagues and patients for his surgical expertise and especially for the quality of his interpersonal relations. In talking with this vascular surgeon, one gets the sense that the physician-
Growing up on a busy farm in rural Virginia, milking cows before and after school every day, Cary Blaydes assumed he would grow up to become a farmer. When his father convinced him to consider medicine instead, his goal was to go back home as a general practitioner and help the people he grew up with. Luckily for Central Kentucky, his plans changed.
William O. “Bill” Witt, MD chaired the UK Department of Anesthesiology for thirteen years, during which time he created a chronic pain service, a full-
Traci Westerfield MD treats and teaches patients struggling with addiction and chronic pain. One of her most effective therapeutic and educational tools is her powerful and compelling personal story. For that reason, I will share her story here in her own words-
Pediatrician Stephanie Stockburger MD majored in music/French horn performance at Eastern Kentucky University. As she walked across campus one day, she had “a God moment” and realized she wanted a job where she could make a difference and help others. She wanted to be a doctor.
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.
Marta Hayne, MD practices radiation oncology at Baptist Health in Lexington. She knew she wanted to be a doctor as early as kindergarten. Growing up in Charleston, West Virginia, she says “My father was an OB-
I first met John Collins in 1978 during an ophthalmology rotation when we were in our respective residencies at UK. I liked him immediately, partly because he had just spent 6 years in primary care in rural Kentucky – a future I was planning for myself.
Susanne Arnold MD is a medical oncologist at UK’s Markey Cancer Center. Growing up, her father was a well known Alzheimer’s researcher, neurologist, neuropathologist and Director of the Sanders Brown Center on Aging for over 25 years – William Markesbery. She says “I identified with his calling. He was the complete package. I’ve always aspired to be like my Dad. He never stopped working. I get my work ethic from him. As 7th and 8th generation Kentuckians, we were both….
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able to articulate for them what’s going on truthfully, show them we have a plan and show them we care, even if that plan is palliative care at the end of life. There is great fulfillment in the doctor-
“I have always felt that it was my calling to walk the path with each patient. I want to be there for them, even to the point of death if necessary, and to be honest during our relationship so they know they can trust me. I want to support them and provide the best treatment and care as long as they need me.”
Have you ever felt burned out?
“Burnout is a real challenge for all of us in oncology. I probably suffer chronic burnout like most oncologists. If the people I serve weren’t so heroic, it would be so much more difficult. But they are facing the challenges of their lives and being so brave and that motivates me. My stressors are small compared to what they are going through.”
What are your go-
“Time with my family. My husband Mike is my rock and my sons, John and Henry, are the greatest achievements of my life. I have hobbies I love-
What does it mean to you to be a physician?
“It is a complete honor to share such a poignant and intimate time with people who are facing cancer. I am always humbled by how much these brave people give to me. It is a gift to be involved with people at this point in their lives and to be able to help them. Being an oncologist can be really hard, but I have been enriched so much by those around me. The science is also beginning to unlock the secrets of why cancer happens, so I feel I am at the edge of the time when we cure cancer. That is really exciting.”
Describe your personal mission, what makes you tick and inspires you.
“Walking the path with those suffering from cancer, being truthful with them and giving them my very best effort in treating their cancer -
How can we help our colleagues, residents and students navigate these stressful times in medicine and society?
“I think the next generation has a better handle on work-
“Oncology can be stressful but it can also be very enriching. You have to look for those moments where you’re being given a gift from the patient and allow that to sustain you. You walk into a room and see a person you’ve never met before. They tell you intimate details of their lives, you examine their body, you learn where their mind and heart are and how they are going to mobilize the courage to cope with a crisis and you get all of that without question. They just accept that relationship. It has always seemed like a miracle to me. It’s very humbling. It makes me glad to be able to get up in the morning, put both feet on the floor, be able to walk and be able to do normal things like swallow water. Some of my patients can’t do any of those things. I just am grateful. You also have to not be afraid to give to others even when you know it could be painful. Losing the patient can be heartbreaking but being in a relationship with them on their path can also be amazingly profound and fulfilling in a way that I never expected when I began in oncology. So I would say don’t be afraid to give of yourself because you will likely receive more than you expected and that will sustain you.”
Working with Susanne Arnold.
Rebecca Heichelbech RN has been Susanne’s clinic nurse for three years and says “I can’t imagine doing any other job. She’s probably my best friend. Nurses have a sisterhood and she’s definitely part of that sisterhood. She’s amazing. I call her Dr. Arnold even though she asks me to call her Susanne. She jokes and calls me Nurse Heichelbech. When our patients and their children are hungry from long travel and waiting, she gets them food. She can be reached about her patients essentially 24/7.”
Patty Hughes DNP is UK HealthCare assistant chief nursing executive and says “The thing that stands out most is her genuine concern and compassion not just for the patients she treats but for the people she works with. She wants the work environment to be a positive one that people enjoy being in. She is an advocate for the nursing staff whenever she can fill that role.”
Reema Patel MD worked with Susanne as an oncology fellow 2 years ago and is now a colleague. She says “Dr. Arnold is a mentor and inspiration who brings not only state of the art care to patients but also immense compassion and understanding. If I am half the oncologist and human being that she is, I will consider myself successful”
Joseph Valentino MD, otolaryngologist and UK head and neck surgeon says, “You could not have picked a finer physician than Dr. Arnold. She is a profile in compassion. She has always had her patients as the central focus of her attention. She goes well beyond expectations to be sure they get the best care possible. Health care for cancer patients in and of itself is highly complex. Treating patients in this financially challenged state of Kentucky involves working through overly complex, underfunded, healthcare systems and broken social systems. Susanne Arnold has dedicated her life to providing the highest quality of cancer care for her patients. Her high standards require extensive extra efforts to hurdle impediments to the delivery of that care.”
Lowell Anthony MD is chief of medical oncology at Markey and says, “Dr. Arnold is the ‘physician’s physician’. She is a role model for us all as she sets a high standard. Her ability to multi-
When you and I receive our own grim diagnosis, I hope we have a physician like Susanne Arnold walk that path with us.
Susanne Arnold MD is a medical oncologist at UK’s Markey Cancer Center. Growing up, her father was a well known Alzheimer’s researcher, neurologist, neuropathologist and Director of the Sanders Brown Center on Aging for over 25 years – William Markesbery. She says “I identified with his calling. He was the complete package. I’ve always aspired to be like my Dad. He never stopped working. I get my work ethic from him. As 7th and 8th generation Kentuckians, we were both committed to serving the people of Kentucky to the best of our ability.”
Deciding to be a doctor
“My undergraduate major at Brown University was educational philosophy but I took science classes in case I later decided to go into medicine. After college, I took 3 years off to examine my motivations. I was a bartender in Lexington and at Keeneland. Strangely enough, bartending is really good training for being a doctor. You hear peoples’ problems-
“Once I got into medical school, I used my married name so I could fly under the radar and not be given special treatment because of who my father was. It was funny though to have him teach my neuropathology course.”
“In medical school and my internal medicine residency I was drawn to the field of oncology. It has the wonderful fusion of the most cutting edge science and the ability to care for people going through something very serious. I didn’t want to shy away from difficult situations and the possibility of death. I wanted to be there and to provide hope whenever possible.”
“I really knew I wanted to be an oncologist in my 3rd year of medical school. My senior resident, Scott Pierce, had to give a terminal diagnosis to a patient at the bedside. He did it in such a grace-
Especially, why oncology knowing many of your patients will die-
“I feel like I have a dual role-
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-