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.
Lauren McManus, MD, internal medicine physician with Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group in Covington, joined our ministry this year and shares her thoughts on being a doctor.
1. What inspired you to pursue a career in medicine/healthcare? Why did you choose your specialty?
I initially considered pharmacy school when I first started college but quickly changed to pre-med track when I realized what good doctors can do. I already had a compassionate and humble spirit, so it was a natural transition. I chose internal medicine because I felt this field is where the most good can be done and needed to be done. For example, an internist can close all the loops to make sure the patient is receiving well-rounded care across the specialties. This closure provides relief for patients and builds their trust in the healthcare system.
2. Have there been any challenges you’ve faced and overcome in your career journey? Who has influenced you most in your career?
Lots of challenges. Medical school is no joke. You sacrifice many of your “young fun years” stuck in textbooks and notes. And residency is even harder. It is not for the faint of heart. Lack of sleep, emotional ups and downs of curing patients and losing patients, a constant to-do list that is interrupted with more tasks all day long, etc. Oh yeah, and you still have to find time to study textbooks. I had many physician mentors who guided me through this difficult time. It helped to know them and talk to them because they of course had to go through training as well. They were my light at the end of the tunnel.
3. What do you like most about being a doctor?
I most enjoy hearing patients say, “Thank you for listening.” It has become a novelty for healthcare providers to really listen, empathize and believe their patients’ stories. I intend to break that cycle.
4. If you weren’t a doctor, what would you do?
If I weren’t a doctor, I would be an event planner or do landscape design. I love a well maintained and neat flower bed!
5. How do you ensure your patients feel heard during their visit?
In addition to being a good listener, I express empathy and concern over what the patient tells me. I try not to brush anything off especially if it seems important to the patient. I will also usually wrap up a conversation by repeating back to the patient their key concerns and come up with a plan for each item.
6. Why did you choose Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group for your practice?
I chose the Physician Group because I feel this organization’s priority is patient satisfaction, not money or growth. I also like that physicians are the leaders in this organization. It keeps our mission grounded.
7. What is something that people may be surprised to know about you? Is there anything else you would want to share in a profile about you and your career?
People would be surprised to know that I don’t always practice what I preach. I do not eat healthy enough, I do not work out enough, and I don’t get as much sleep as I should. I guess we’re all human!