Every day, our doctors go above and beyond to help our communities heal. On March 30, we celebrate Doctors’ Day, expressing our appreciation to those who care for us and guide us to maintain a healthy lifestyle all year.
Cori Sumrall, DO, family medicine physician with Our Lady of the Angels Health, has been with our ministry since 2017 when she was a resident in our LSU Rural Family Medicine Residency program. She shared her thoughts on being a doctor.
What inspired you to pursue a career in medicine/healthcare?
My mother has been a registered nurse for over 40 years. She would live and breathe healthcare, and I was always fascinated hearing about her experiences. I was immersed in a hospital setting at a young age, but it wasn’t until I began shadowing in high school and college that pursuing a career as a physician became a vision for me. I enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life, learning about different medical conditions and knowing that I’d be able to impact the lives of others in a positive way.
Why did you choose your specialty?
I chose family medicine because it allows me to practice such a wide scope of medicine. It encompasses pieces of all the specialties and is the doorway by which many patients get more specialized care. It also truly focuses on treating the patient as a whole. The continuity of care it provides allows physicians to build rapport with their patients and often leads to better health outcomes.
Have there been any challenges you’ve faced and overcome in your career journey?
I would say one challenging part of medicine is seeing patients have a delay in care due to barriers with insurance. Examples include denial of prior authorizations for an imaging study of medication you feel a patient needs, or delay of cancer screenings such as colonoscopy because patients are unable to afford copays. We are able to overcome most barriers, but certainly it can be frustrating at times.
Who has influenced you most in your career?
I’ve had many physicians that have influenced my career, but two in particular would be Dr. Crawford (ENT) and Dr. Mangat (pediatrician), both female physicians, who I shadowed and worked alongside during college and my medical training. These ladies are selfless and practice exceptional medicine!
What do you like most about being a doctor?
The best thing about being a doctor is my patients. As a physician, people entrust me with their well-being, and it’s an honor and a privilege to gain their trust and help them navigate their health concerns. It’s gratifying to see the success each person finds, whether that be helping them to control their diabetes or overcome their anxiety.
If you weren’t a doctor, what would you do?
I always said I would work in education if I hadn’t become a doctor! I enjoy teaching students when given the opportunity.
How do you ensure your patients feel heard during their visit?
I try to make eye contact frequently with patients during their visit and also summarize their concerns as we discuss the plan of care. I also tell patients they can always message me on MyChart or call our office with any questions after their visit.
Why did you choose Our Lady of the Angels Health for your practice?
I chose to work with Our Lady of the Angels for several reasons. I wanted to remain in a rural setting and chose Bogalusa not only because it’s my hometown, but also because I wanted to increase access for primary care in this area. I also saw how happy my colleagues had been while working for Angels, which speaks volumes!
What is something that people may be surprised to know about you?
I love to sing! I don’t do it publicly but if you catch me in my car or at home with my 2.5–year–old, Reagan, we can put on a concert!