SUS Presidential Session: Adam Beck, MD
Finding Purpose and Fulfillment in An Academic Clinical Practice
The second speaker of the Presidential Session was Dr. Adam Beck, the Division Director of Vascular Surgery. Dr. Beck described how hard it is to truly find your passion and described his path. He encouraged all the young people to realize that your passion grows as you find where you want to be. Also, where you trained affects what you are doing. He was fortunate enough to train at UAB, University of Florida, Dartmouth, and UT Southwestern. It is the surgeons who train you who provide mentorship that organically develops over time. His goal and passion are to mentor the next generation.
Dr. Garry Purdue, a burn surgeon, would always stop him in the hallway when he was an intern to check in. He would tell Dr. Beck to look around to find the right person to emulate. It was Dr. Purdue who he wanted to emulate because he knew all the patients and their families.
Sir William Osler said “There is no disease more conducive to clinical humility than aneurysms of the aorta.” Dr Beck went to Dartmouth for his fellowship and then took a position at the University of Florida in Gainesville at the VA. Unfortunately, the chief of Vascular surgery at the main hospital had an MI and instantly Dr. Beck became one of the busiest vascular surgeons. Together with Dr. Tom Martin, his mentor, he built the endovascular practice which also grew the open practice.
“There is no limit to the good you can do if you do not care who gets the credit” a quote from Ronald Regan has always been a guiding principle.
He concluded with a few pieces of advice: Love your job so that you can be engaged and happy at home.
To achieve this, he has 6 guiding principles:
1. Recognize a problem
2. Learn all you can and become an expert
3. Keep your eye on the ball
4. Be a team player
5. Write about what you do