Life Lessons from the Medical Jungle

By Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick
Twitter: @drnic1
Host of Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist#TheIncrementalist

On this episode I talked to Frank Veith, MD, Surgeon, Professor, and author of “The Medical Jungle” where he lays out the six pillars of his pioneering tenure as a vascular surgeon in some of the most prestigious vascular programs in the country and the groundbreaking—and at times controversial—advancements for which he tirelessly advocates.

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He started out in medicine and fell in by chance, in part in an attempt to avoid having to do paperwork – as we all know that proved out the other way. He has been responsible for some incredible advancements in medicine including Lung transplantation, salvaging of limbs, and endovascular surgical intervention.

But all this was not without challenges, pushbacks, and even total rejection from some peers and colleagues – as he says in his book. He would hear back-channel chatter from competing hospitals:

“This guy is nuts. He’s a maverick working at a third-rate institution in the Bronx. How is he going to accomplish that!?”

We discuss the elements of success and facing adversity and the importance of never giving up (never surrender) – famously a statement made by Sir Winston Churchill in his infamous speech “We Shall Fight on the Beaches”.

You can hear his thoughts on some of the incremental elements of his journey, including the importance of focusing on solving the problems that others would not take on and the value and compassion we must bring to the service of our patients.

We discuss some of the groundbreaking work he championed including innovations in Lung Transplantation which were seen as impossible at the time, the salvaging of limbs that the medical profession deemed impossible but he and his team proved were, and the incredible end-vascular revolution that built on the work of others including Dr. Charles Dotter (aka Crazy Charlie) who brought into the world the use of catheters to unblock arteries. This was the early instance of angioplasty and is now part of the mainstream treatments.

He continues the journey of innovation and carrying the torch for the advancement of science and vascular surgery with his highly successful VEITH Symposium (@VEITHsymposium) which is now in its 50th year, and continues to educate and advance the fields of vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists and other vascular specialists.

Listen in to hear his continued hope and drive for medicine and where we continue to have opportunities to innovate and keep driving success and how to go about that and if you can get his book that is filled with insight on life and how to create a path to success.

This article was originally published on the Dr. Nick – The Incrementalist blog and is republished here with permission.

About the Show

About the Show
For years Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick, has served as a voice on the impact of new technologies on healthcare, earning a reputation as a leading authority on where the future of medicine is going. Combining powers of observation and real world experience, Dr. Nick has seen many predictions come true and makes the case that innovations in healthcare can be accomplished incrementally, not just by moonshot events. Tune in to hear Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist and his guests discuss what the future of healthcare looks like, how we will get there, and what it will take to improve healthcare for all.

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