Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Elizabeth “Elisa” Chiang who is a board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained oculoplastic surgeon. She earned her medical and doctorate degrees in neuroscience from the MD/PhD program at Western Reserve University. On top of it all, she is also a certified life coach.
- [00:38] Dr. Chiang’s Medical Journey and Background
- [02:39] Why Ophthalmology and Oculoplastic Surgery?
- [06:09] Applications of coaching
- [13:07] Work-life balance and burnout
- [18:55] What Dr. Chiang would Change about Healthcare
- [23:23] Dr. Chiang’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students
Why Specialize in Oculoplastic Surgery?
While doing her PhD in neuroscience, Dr. Chiang was pleased to discover that a lot of the research was about vision. During her rotations, she found enjoyment in microsurgical procedures. Oculoplastic surgery was a perfect fit for her interests. She was also drawn to the field because she enjoyed improving patients’ quality of life. Even though it may not be life or death, oculoplastic surgery can make a huge impact by improving eyesight.
Prevent burnout with work-life balance
It’s worrying that about 40% of physicians are burnt out. Medical students and residents report feeling burnt out as well. It’s a sign that we need to take better care of our mental health. We can do this by paying closer attention to our thoughts. Write them down then identify which are helpful to you. Only entertain thoughts that are constructive and compassionate. Another way we can maintain work-life balance is by being present wherever we are. During work, focus only on your responsibilities. During rest, focus only on your personal activities. You don’t always need to do everything yourself. If it’s not urgent or someone else can handle it, you can let go of those tasks.
The Lack of Transparency in Healthcare
Dr. Chiang points out that the current healthcare system needs more transparency. Insurance companies bill patients differently depending on the negotiated terms with hospitals. They keep both patients and doctors in the dark about the costs in order to hide the profit they make. Dr. Chiang also believes that at least everyone should have basic healthcare. In the US, the quality of care you receive is tied to how much money you have and what insurance you can avail of. Healthcare plans should be made more accessible to everyone, not just to employees in big corporations.