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-
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PROFILE IN COMPASSION
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several times a day to move, stand, breath and simply pay attention to the present moment.
He refers several patients a week for mindfulness training and says “I particularly find this approach useful for treating anxiety-
Keeping Compassion Alive
He is still motivated by the altruism of his college years. He feels an inner compulsion to serve. He focuses on the good he is doing at home and at work. He takes comfort knowing he is making a difference. The meaning of being a physician is constantly renewed by such activities as teaching 1st year medical students at the UK Student-
He says, “You must be compassionate to them all.” He may not receive thanks from some patients. He will never see most of them again. “But an inner purpose drives me to help them.”
The Next Generation
The conflicting demands and inefficiencies of hospital systems can negatively impact physician job satisfaction and lead to burnout from institutionalized external stressors. The training environment of fellows, residents and students can be affected-
His evaluations of his faculty and fellows includes a realistic assessment of these environmental stressors they are exposed to. He sits down individually with his faculty at least twice a year for a focused review and guidance on each aspect of their career. He praises them and shows appreciation as much as possible, knowing such feedback can reduce the risk of burnout.
But he also knows that external rewards and praise are not enough. To be truly satisfied and effective, they must also be internally rewarded and driven. He asks them “Why are you here? What makes you excited? What brings you happiness?”
He thinks we need to arm students, residents, fellows and faculty with the life skills of self-
Societal, parental and financial pressures impact career choices between academia and community practice. Competition for grades and class rank add to the burden of isolation so common among medical trainees. He observed this dynamic first hand in his own daughter. Though she is now in her dream residency, there were times in medical school that she felt distraught over her academic performance, leading to self-
Terry Barrett is a physician who has found a way to sustain his lifelong altruistic spirit. In the process, he is helping medical students, residents, fellows and faculty sustain their own.
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-
After growing up Catholic, going to mass every Sunday and attending a Catholic high school, he went through a deepening process of self-
He brings this personal history to his mentoring of junior faculty and fellows. He knows they are also vulnerable to these self-
He has learned to recognize the signs of a stressful situation and which factors are external (over which he has limited control) and internal (over which he has much more control). The practice of mindfulness helps him distinguish between these external and internal stressors and manage them proactively. This allows him to take action to change the things he can rather than blame other people or external factors. He has taken to heart and regularly used the tools he learned in the Mindfulness-
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-
Juggling his obligations to family and medicine has not been easy. During training, he and his wife had 5 children within a two-