The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

From DJ to Doctor

Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Blair Nelson, an Emergency Room Physician who has been in the industry for 20 years. In this episode, Erkeda and Dr. Blair discuss why he chose the fast-paced field of Emergency Medicine, what he looks for in a medical school candidate, the nuances of the patients he encounters, and his previous career as a radio DJ.

  • [00:23] Introduction on Dr. Blair Nelson
  • [01:10] Why Dr. Blair Chose Emergency Medicine
  • [05:53] The Type of Student that Makes an Excellent Medical School Candidate
  • [10:46] Social, Psychological, and Cultural Aspect of Practicing Medicine
  • [13:58] Dr. Blair’s Most Memorable Patient Moment
  • [16:50] The Human Aspect of Medicine and the Importance of Self-Care
  • [18:48] From DJ to Doctor
  • [23:00] Dr. Blair’s Advice for Medical Students

What type of student makes for an excellent medical school candidate?

For Dr. Blair, students that comfortable juggling multiple responsibilities at once can make for a great medical school student. Intelligence still plays a large role, but some students or young residents struggle because of the multiple tasks and responsibilities that need to be taken care of throughout the day and they must be able to juggle these balls up in the air all at the same time. Another trait he considers important in medical school candidates is being comfortable working in an area of non-absolute and indicated guesswork. He explains that medicine is filled with gray areas and may not be the best career path for people that excel in math or physics where there are absolute answers.

Social, Psychological, and Cultural Aspect of Practicing Medicine

After a few years of practicing medicine, Dr. Blair found that the “medicine” part of being a physician becomes the easy part along the way. It goes without saying that the road to becoming a doctor is a difficult one given the various set of knowledge needed in application but once residents get past that point, working with the humanity aspect of it becomes the new challenge. Every person that seeks help has their own unique social issues along with their medical issue, and that’s where prognosis and treatment plans aren’t just solely based on the medical aspect but also on their social, psychological, and cultural background.

Dr. Blair’s One Piece of Advice for Medical Students

If Dr. Blair could give one piece of advice to medical students, it’s this: wipe yourself off and keep moving forward. There are multiple detours and setbacks that are non-linear, and no physician or MD has had a linear trajectory from being a medical student to an attending physician. If you experience hiccups along the way, both Erkeda and Dr. Blair highly recommended reaching out to your mentors, colleagues, and even MedSchoolCoach.

Follow and reach out to Dr. Blair Nelson on his LinkedIn page.

Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’s Instagram.

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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