Coffee Chat with Dr. Tea

Here is where I write down my thoughts, less educational, more intimate. 

Have you ever wondered who your doctor was outside his or her lab coat? Like, what are they into? Do they all drive nice cars? What are their true values in life? What makes them crazy? What makes them love their job? I won't attempt to answer all these questions, but let's see where this takes us.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

I'm more of an introvert than extrovert who enjoys reading, writing and quiet time. It is easier for me to write out how I feel than it is to say it. Becoming a doctor has challenged me in that now I have to push the words out of my mouth in front of patients, colleagues and staff in order to be an effective communicator. I admit I still struggle with this at times. Often times, my words don't work but I'm fortunate enough to have staff who can read my mind (or predict my next move). That is an amazing skill. 

How does that affect you as a doctor who sees over 20 different people everyday?

I also like balance. Periods of introversion must be broken up with human interaction, just like periods of wakefulness needs sleep to recharge. I truly enjoy being in small groups of friends whereas in larger groups I tend to feel drained. I value my energy reserve and there is a finite amount in a day, so I am also very picky about how I spend it. That also means I am straight to the point with my patients and thorough about explanations. There's no sugar coating important facts that need attention. I have patients who find my honesty refreshing, there are others who'll choose to never see me again. I am ok with that.

What useful thing have you learned in practice that you didn't get in training?

Don't bother trying to please everyone! You simply can't and having accepted this has given me the freedom to be exactly me and stay true to my values, which is honesty. I want patients who get that, I think that has helped increase the quality of patient-doctor relationship, ease nervous patients, while providing clarity in treatment options. Since I am spending most of my waking hours with patients, I have to make it count so I have to hang on to my core values, which in turn helps my sanity.

What values have you learned along the way that has helped the way you practice?

Empowering people around me is something I value greatly. I will rarely tell patients what to do. They always have choices: do nothing or consider my advice or consider someone else's. I treat everyone like adults and each individual chooses their own destiny. Some like the easy route, others prefer the more difficult one. The choice is yours as it always has been.

If you enjoyed this content, I thank you for being here. I hope to hear from you as well.