Hello, Journal Watch Readers!
Heidi Zook, MD • September 30th, 2011
Hello Journal Watch readers! My name is Heidi Zook, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions with all of you for the next year. I am one of the current chief residents at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, so my viewpoint is that of a junior faculty, recent resident, and current chief resident. Just like our other chief resident blogger, Gopi Astik, I am a proud Kansas Citian. I grew up in Shawnee, Kansas, which is a suburb of Kansas City. For medical school, I attended the 6 year combined BS/MD program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. I loved it so much that I stuck around for internal medicine residency and an additional year as a 4th-year chief resident. My training has taken place at two hospitals: Truman Medical Center, a county hospital serving the underprivileged, and Saint Luke’s Hospital, a nationally-recognized tertiary care center. I have had the opportunity through my training to see many types of patients, as well as many styles of communication and perspectives on healthcare.
During my time as a blogger, I hope to share my perspective as a fairly new physician, which I hope many of you will be able to relate to. We are all lucky to be able to combine science and art into our everyday practice as physicians. I want to discuss both the science that drives our clinical decision-making as well as the art that makes our jobs so enjoyable. One of my favorite patients during the course of my training was a 96-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital with acute and chronic systolic heart failure and a history of aortic valve replacement. He was very active and independent. He sat me down one day and said how thankful he was that he received an aortic valve replacement at the age of 92 because he had been having so much fun playing in his polka band for the past 4 years. That experience taught me that intervention isn’t always about age, but about functionality. It helped to mold me into the clinician that I am today. Please share some of your favorite patient encounters that taught you about how to practice medicine, how to communicate, or how to enjoy life!