HealthSourceMag – Dr. Alddo Molinar on How to Thrive in Medical School and Residency

The path to becoming a doctor has a reputation for being, well, hard. While that reputation is a recognition of the very real challenges one encounters while pursuing the career, it doesn’t mean you can’t thrive while undertaking this journey. As with most things in life, one of the best ways to gain insights on walking this path is to look for information from those who have been there before. To this end, we’ve gathered tips from Dr. Alddo Molinar, a respected anesthesiologist practicing medicine in Ohio. Read on for a helpful overview on how to increase your chances to thrive in medical school, residency, and beyond.

Find your motivation

The first thing you’ll probably want to answer for yourself when pursuing a career as a doctor is why exactly you want to do so. If you don’t have a strong answer for this question, you may find it difficult to overcome the obstacles you’ll find along the way. In contrast, a strong motivation can be a point of focus that will help guide you when the going gets tough. Use that motivation as a touchstone to come back to when you have the inevitable doubts along the way. Once you get through them, you’ll be that much stronger and more focused on your ultimate goal.

For Dr. Alddo Molinar, his motivation has come from his experiences as a child witnessing illness crop up in his own family. Seeing his grandmother go through the tragic effects of cancer had a profound effect on him and illustrated how an illness not only affects the patient but also their family. From that experience, he vowed to dedicate himself to a career helping to alleviate suffering in others. That vow eventually led him to shadow health professionals at the Rio Grande Health Clinic in El Paso, Texas. The two experiences together cemented his desire to become a doctor and helped to keep him motivated throughout medical school and residency.

Treat school like a job

While there’s plenty of structure in medical school that comes in the form of lectures, labs, and other formal educational activities, there’s plenty left up to the student in terms of how they want to study. This can be dangerous territory for individuals who haven’t yet mastered how to manage their own time. It’s an all too common story that many medical students fall behind simply because they aren’t able to make their studies a top priority. Instead, these students dig themselves into a hole that eventually becomes too deep to climb out of.

For this reason, the doctor advocates that medical students think of their studies in the same way as they would a job. Blocking out specific blocks of time for study and other school-related activities. By making sure that these educational pursuits are their top priority, students can give themselves the best chance of thriving in their activities and achieving high grades. This can in turn translate to preferred placement in residency programs and can ultimately help to guide the trajectory of one’s career. Having this understanding from the start can go a long way towards building up one’s chances of success.

Don’t compare yourself to others

The career trajectory outlined above is a great goal to shoot for and keeping it in mind can help to guide you down a path of success, but it can also be damaging if you start to focus on the trajectories of others. The simple fact of the matter is that we are all endowed with different skillsets and talents. Comparing your skills to those of a classmate is an easy way to develop a sense of inferiority. Rather than making yourself feel bad about areas in which you might not be performing as well as you’d like, it can pay to focus on your own talents and to build your self-esteem through celebrating your strengths.

This has been a guiding principle in the doctor’s life as well and one that has helped contribute to his own high degree of success. Throughout medical school and beyond, he has made it a point to not waste energy comparing himself to others but rather to invest his attention in his own efforts. This has, in turn, made him more able to complete those efforts and has helped him land a coveted residency at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. This goes to show that by avoiding comparison, you can actually make yourself better off in the process.

Balance your professional life

It’s important to find a specialty and work to attain a high level of proficiency in that area. Not only will this qualify you for a particular subset of medicine when it comes time to practice, it will also help you achieve a high level of expertise. However, it also pays to engage in additional training in subspecialties to help round out your set of skills. This will give you a more complete picture of the field of medicine and it can also help guide your choices both inside and outside of your specialty.

Again, the work of Dr. Alddo Molinar helps to illustrate this point. While undertaking training at the Cleveland Clinic, he made sure to seek additional education in areas beyond his main concentration of anesthesiology. This included training in neurological and cardiovascular intensive care as well as a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine. By expanding his medical knowledge in this way, he’s equipped himself to be a more effective doctor that can cater to a wider range of patients. In essence, it’s helped him thrive in his career by building a solid foundation of expertise during his formal education.

While the path to becoming a doctor can, of course, be challenging, there are plenty of habits you can adopt to ensure your chances for success. These include finding your motivation, treating your education as a profession, resisting the temptation to compare yourself to others, and finding balance in life. The example set by Dr. Alddo Molinar in each of these areas can help to illustrate how they can be so influential for those seeking a career in the field of medicine. Keep these examples in mind as you navigate your own path in order to improve your chances for a professional life that is both satisfying and fulfilling.

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Inspirery – Alddo Molinar Doctor of Anesthesiology

Dr. Alddo Molinar is an anesthesiologist practicing medicine at East Ohio Regional Hospital and Ohio Valley Medical Center. He is licensed to practice medicine in both the state of Ohio and the state of West Virginia. He also holds a primary certification with the American Board of Anesthesiology and a subspecialty certification in Critical Care Medicine.

After showing a natural aptitude at a young age for academic pursuits, the future doctor turned his aspirations to the field of medicine following a tragic illness in his family. Seeing the toll the illness took on his family members, he vowed to direct his life’s pursuits towards the elimination of suffering wherever possible. This goal was further cemented following an early experience shadowing medical professionals at the Rio Grande Health Clinic in El Paso, Texas.

The doctor went on to attend Trinity University to obtain his Bachelor of Science in Biology and later The University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas for medical school. Following medical school, he was accepted into the competitive anesthesiology residency program at the Cleveland Clinic. There, he undertook trainings in anesthesiology as well as subspecialty trainings in critical care medicine. The doctor also went on to a fellowship program at the Cleveland Clinic where he served as Chief Fellow and underwent additional trainings in neurological and cardiovascular intensive care.

In the years since his formal education, Dr. Alddo Molinar has become known for his ability to connect with patients while delivering a high level of care. His ability to multitask inside and outside of the operating room and manage large teams of professionals has also earned him praise amongst his peers.

How did you get started in this business?

There was never really a question that I was going to care for people. Having grown up in a small business, I witnessed the selfless dedication of my parents in providing a high quality service. They owned an insurance company where I would help out every day after school. I did everything from answer the phones to setup the computer network and even helped build and paint the front desk. Aside from my parents instilling work discipline and value of the dollar, I learned the importance of advocating for the customer to get them the best result. I often heard my dad reassure his customers that they were going to be alright and I watched as he personally invested himself to follow them from the beginning of a traumatic experience until it was completely resolved.
Twenty five years later, patients are my primary customers and I find myself applying the lessons I learned from my father and reassuring them through traumatic experiences. But, in addition to patients, I have a customer base in surgeons, nurses, and administrators. The most important outcome is always making sure that each and every patient does well, each and every time.

How do you make money?

As a physician, I am in the service industry. I provide a service to hospitals who then provide a high quality service to patients. The actual reimbursement typically comes from insurance companies or it is billed directly to the patient. While fiduciary responsibility is important in medicine, the most important thing is that patients get the best outcome.

How long did it take for you to become profitable?

Becoming a doctor can be a long and grueling process, and a medical education can be an expensive endeavor. Thankfully, I had various grants and scholarships that made the cost of education manageable. I first started to turn a profit after I became licensed in the state of Ohio in 2011, but it does take several years to level off. Since then, I have done over 17,000 anesthesia cases and I am also licensed in the state of West Virginia. I have experience with everything from lung and liver transplants surgery to heart surgery to plastic surgery and endoscopies.

In 2016, I became an independent practitioner and started practice for myself. I took all the training that I had developed to that point to create a tremendous position which allowed me to leverage my professional skills and clinical abilities and combine them with my interpersonal skills in developing a consulting business.

When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?

Medicine is the type of career that requires 100% dedication. There was a time in my career when I worked so intensely that I felt my life got a little out of balance. I have now gained perspective regarding the importance of taking care of myself. I accomplish this through exercise as well as meditation. I also learned the importance of being an effective leader as well as teaching the next generation. I can make more of an impact on patients now, by recruiting, motivating, and leading a high quality team. With a cohesive vision, we can stay within our individual limits yet be incredibly productive as a team.

How did you get your first customer?

In the consulting business, it was about just pounding the pavement, and I found a group that needed help.

My company specializes in anesthesia and critical care in underserved areas and my first customers were in Martins Ferry, OH and Wheeling, WV. It provided an excellent opportunity to showcase my skills while working with a team in delivering a very high level of medical care. We were even recognized by the CEO and the president for a job well done.

What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?

Medicine really is a results-oriented business. If you can deliver the results while also being personable and empathetic, business generally will thrive. The exciting part about small communities is that word of mouth spreads quickly. For example, you can take care of somebody’s grandfather or grandmother and the following weekend they will have coffee with their neighbors, friends, and family and say good things about your care. This generally results in an excellent marketing strategy, but it also underscores the need to do the best job possible. Part of being successful is being a quick study of your environment and being honest with patients about both the best services you can provide as well as any possible limitations.

Also, there’s a very important part of medicine that involves support from your friends and family. It is so much harder to engage this support system if you have to travel for several hours to obtain care. I believe very strongly that you can provide a very high level of care at some of our regional hospitals. Granted, there are definitely some situations where it is best to go to a tertiary care center, but knowing how to differentiate between the two maintains your integrity in the eyes of a patient.

In this day and age of widespread social media, it is important to maintain a positive social media presence that supports your personal and professional mission statement. This is essentially like accelerating the model of taking good care of patients and having them go to talk about their care over coffee with friends and family.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

In the wake of the decrease of surgical cases due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve had more free time. One of the toughest decisions I had to make was deciding to volunteer to help New York City because this would involve leaving my family.

What do you think it is that makes you successful?

It is the sheer determination to try as hard you can to succeed. Even when I was in college, I would find a study room on Friday and Saturday nights to get ahead. While I do not in any way feel this makes me different from others who are willing to devote the effort it takes to succeed, it is important to know how to set yourself apart and stay focused. One of my favorite sayings is, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” That’s not to say you shouldn’t go after the things you want, but rather it underscores the importance of finding a competitive advantage to get whatever you want done. Sometimes you have to work harder than anyone else, and by doing this, you make yourself competitive. We live in the best country in the world. Just about everything is possible, so set you sights high and get it done.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

The independence and flexibility of helping at many different levels and with a variety patients. I also recognize the importance of staying up to date and working at my own pace. While launching my own business was a pivotal moment, I am also so fulfilled at this point in my career to have the confidence in my abilities enough to be able to guide and mentor others.

What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?

One of the things that I am most excited about, has actually been revealed through the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of technology to help bridge the care gap that often exists in underserved communities has been driven to the forefront. In many states, the medical boards have relaxed requirements to see patients in person in order to provide care. While this was initially to triage who needs further care, it is a step in the right direction for those areas that are yet underserved or under-represented by specialists.

What business books have inspired you?

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin.

This book emphasizes that the source of great performance is hard work and the constant desire to excel at what you do. It speaks to me because it shows that you do not always have to be the best or the smartest at something as long as you are fully invested in it and care about putting in the hard work to achieve your outcome.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be highly adaptive. It’s easy to be complacent in life, but it is important to set goals and truly go after what you seek. To get it, you always want to be thankful for what you are and where you are, but you also need to take time to wake up each morning refreshed and invigorated to go out and do it with just as much energy and excitement as the first time. For me, this involves reflection and keeping my mind healthy with meditation.

Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?

Absolutely! For anyone looking for advice about medicine or starting out in your own practice, especially as an anesthesiologist or critical care physician, please contact me through my socials.

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Professional Tales – Dr. Alddo Molinar and the Direction of Anesthesiology

Anesthesiology as a field presents an interesting topic of study for those both in the profession and outside of it. Owing to its critical role in surgical operations, the specialization has a wide-reaching effect on other areas of medical study. As such, we’re taking some time to look at the field in greater depth and see not only where it is at present, but also where it is going in the near future. To aid in this analysis, we’re pairing it with a look at the career of Dr. Alddo Molinar. As a well-respected anesthesiologist himself, he makes for an excellent point of focus when discussing the field at large.

Professional background

Let’s first take a brief look at the professional background of Dr. Alddo Molinar to better understand the expertise of practitioners of this specialty. Like many medical doctors, the anesthesiologist showed a natural aptitude early in life that helped direct him towards a high-achieving career. After witnessing the devastating toll that illness took on several family members, the future doctor resolved to use that aptitude to pursue a career in medicine to help alleviate suffering in others.

The road to that career was a long one, spanning through his undergraduate studies, medical school, and finally residency and a fellowship. Those last two endeavors both took place at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, where he was able to get a firsthand appreciation at how the field of anesthesiology is practiced at its highest levels. His time at the clinic not only encompassed training in his primary field, it also included a range of subspecialty trainings. These included stints in both the neurological and cardiovascular intensive care units. He also underwent training in critical care medicine.

This broad range of trainings helped the doctor develop his understanding of the wider field of medicine. Since, as we’ll see, anesthesiologists are often involved in operations that touch on many different fields, this broad understanding has been a key part in allowing him to effectively carry out his professional responsibilities. This includes allowing him to better coordinate with other doctors and medical professionals inside and outside the operating room.

Operating environment

Since it plays a large role in the work of an anesthesiologist, it can also be helpful to get a better understanding of a typical operating room environment. That environment can lend itself to a certain level of controlled chaos, drawing comparisons to a busy airport. Like an airport, many professionals are required to work in close collaboration with one another in order to reach a common goal. If one part of the process were to break down, other areas would suffer and the team as a whole might be unable to complete the operation successfully.

In the context of this metaphor, Dr. Alddo Molinar has compared anesthesiologists to pilots. It is up to them to successfully take off at the beginning of an operation, by making sure the patient is properly anesthetized, and then to land the plane, so to speak, at the end of the operation. Not only does this collaboration take place with the professionals in an operating room, an anesthesiologist often works in multiple operating rooms at once. This requires a careful and organized approach that takes into account the needs of different procedures, patients, and operating teams.

Monitoring patients

One important part of the collaboration outlined above is the need for anesthesiologists to monitor patients throughout an operation. This monitoring requires doctors to be aware of vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, and ventilation to ensure patients aren’t having an adverse reaction to their anesthesia. By some estimates, anesthesiologists are tasked with monitoring up to 40 different patient data streams at once during an operation. The doctor can then use this data to make important decisions in real-time during a surgical procedure.

While the monitoring of this large amount of data is a necessary part of the profession of anesthesiology, it also can be somewhat unwieldy at times and can contribute to medical errors. For this reason, among others, the development of processes to improve patient monitoring and reduce errors has been a key focus of innovation in the field of anesthesiology.

Decision support systems

That search for increased innovation has led to the development of what’s known as decision support systems. Though these systems have been in use for some time, the positive results they have helped achieve in the operating room have contributed to projections of increased usage moving forward.

Put simply, these systems utilize electronic dashboards to help doctors make decisions based on data being received from patient monitoring. Rather than have that monitoring be handled through many different systems with different standards, a decision support system can present relevant data to doctors in a quick and efficient manner. This can aid their ability to make key decisions by improving accuracy and decision speed.

Such a system can also provide alerts to an anesthesiologist if it detects a worrying development within the data it is monitoring. These alerts can help inform a doctor’s decision, though they are still just information to be interpreted as the medical professional sees fit. This helps to illustrate how there is still room for improvement in these systems insofar as it is up to manufacturers to decide the manner and frequency with which to display alerts. Too many alerts may serve as a distraction to doctors, while too few may defeat the purpose of the system itself. As new systems continue to be developed in this space, they will continue to help evolve the practice of anesthesiology.

Information management system

As we’ve seen, decisions inside the operating room can be greatly affected by real-time data that results from the monitoring of a patient. The effective use of this data can result in a higher degree of medical care. Another component that can contribute to quality of care is data that is pulled from records. A wide range of important data can be contained in patient records such as allergies, past drug reactions, past operations, and more. Such records can represent a critical point of study for an anesthesiologist as they can help them better plan their approach once inside the operating room.

Since records can play such a critical role in the health outcomes of a patient, it is also important for an anesthesiologist to take proper records during an operation for present and future use. Such record-keeping can note important aspects of the data that is being monitored in real-time for use in other medical contexts down the line, such as postoperative management. However, while it is important, record-keeping can represent a significant draw on a doctor’s resources away from more immediate patient needs. In the context of an operating room, any draw on resources can serve as a weak point that can negatively contribute to a patient’s health outcome.

To help alleviate some of the downsides of record-keeping, medical facilities now often utilize information management systems to help automate record-keeping efforts. Such systems function as an integrated database ideally encompassing a patient’s medical records from their range of different medical procedures. With this information, an anesthesiologist can better determine a plan for anesthetization during an operation and for postoperative management.

Such systems also can help to automate the record-keeping process to allow anesthesiologists to focus on more pressing patient needs during an operation. The ability of this technology to take the record-keeping burden off of medical professionals is a key contributing factor to its adoption by a wide range of medical facilities. By automatically logging important data, these systems can leave doctors confident that records will be available down the line without the need to divert their attention away from a patient during an operation.

Integration setbacks

One issue that still affects the systems above is the disparate rates of adoption by medical facilities. While some facilities use such technologies to the fullest of their capabilities, others are lagging behind. This can lead to gaps in levels of patient care.

Another challenge in the integration of these technologies is the number of different systems in use at present. Since the idea of information management systems is that they can provide all of a patient’s medical records when needed, it can be counterproductive if different medical facilities utilize different systems. This is especially true if those systems don’t easily collaborate with each other.

As we’ve seen above, the field of anesthesiology has plenty of exciting developments that are serving to move it forward. The use of technologies such as decision support systems and information management systems are two examples of the direction the field is taking. Looking to the above information, along with the work of Dr. Alddo Molinar, provides a great indication of how the field of anesthesiology is evolving best practices to perform at even greater heights.

ProgrammingInsider – Dr. Alddo Molinar Uses Experience and Training to Improve Patient Care

It’s often said that the best relationships between doctors and patients are built on trust. The question then becomes, how to create that trust? To answer this, we’ve taken some time to look to a practitioner who’s become well known for his positive working relationships with patients — Dr. Alddo Molinar. The use of important practices such as keeping a high level of communication, planning his schedule effectively, and making himself available to patients has helped the doctor to earn a wide reputation for his quality of care. Read on for a look at his work in detail, including the experience and training that has helped him achieve his notoriety. Education and training

Education and training

Alddo Molinar knew from an early age that he wanted to work in the medical field. This knowledge came from an early aptitude which showed him capable of achieving a great many things and also a number of unfortunate illnesses in his family. Seeing the devastating effect these medical issues had on those he cared about, the future doctor made it a goal to help alleviate suffering in others. That pledge would lead him down a path that has ultimately allowed him to make a major and sustained impact on the lives of innumerable patients.

That path began, formally, through his undergraduate education at Trinity University in San Antonio. After earning his B.S. in Biology from the school, he went on to attend medical school at The University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas. He would then go on to complete his residency at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. While completing his residency, the doctor not only engaged in training in his main specialty, anesthesiology, he also studied a variety of other subspecialties including critical care medicine, trauma anesthesia, and regional anesthesia. He also undertook additional training in neurological intensive care and cardiovascular intensive care while completing a Critical Care Medicine fellowship. This additional training allowed Dr. Molinar to lead the operating room as well as the intensive care unit.

Organization and leadership

One of the key skills he picked up through his education and training was the ability to stay organized. This is especially important for an anesthesiologist, which is an area of practice that the doctor likens to being a pilot, if the operating room were an airport that is. He draws this analogy based on the manner in which an operating room consists of a number of professionals all busily working together to achieve the same goal in tandem, noting that a surgery must start and end with the anesthesiologist working with the patient. Taking off and landing the plane, so to speak.

On a typical day, the doctor will often be involved with multiple surgeries simultaneously. This necessitates a high degree of organization and also leadership to be able to direct efforts on multiple fronts. The attention to detail required to perform well under this type of pressure is something that was apparent from the doctor’s early aptitude but was also carefully cultivated through his work in the field. Without it, he would be unavailable to the medical professionals with which he collaborates and, by extension, the patients who’ve entrusted themselves to his care.

Open communication

Of course, communication plays a huge role in the doctor’s ability to successfully accomplish his goals. Working seamlessly with other medical professionals is key, both inside and outside the operating room. A strategy for addressing the specific needs of each patient must be developed prior to surgery and must be carefully enacted on the day of the operation. From this point of view, it’s perhaps unsurprising that, as we’ve seen, the doctor compares the endeavor to a busy airport, an institution that would be unable to operate without the ever-present communication from air traffic control.

Communication, however, is not just important between medical professionals, it also forms the basis of any thriving doctor/patient relationship. This has been an area in which the doctor has made a name for himself over the years and it’s no accident that it has become a hallmark of his work. In fact, he takes special care to make himself available to patients at every stage of their journey. Discussing details with them in a kind and caring manner and also following up after an operation to see how their recovery is going. He’ll often engage in those follow-ups via telephone after hours, further highlighting his desire to emphasize patient care whenever possible.

Empathy in action

Ultimately, the dedication displayed by the doctor is an indication of the deeply-held empathy he has for the patients under his care. That empathy is not only informed by the suffering he’s witnessed firsthand in his family but also through his many years of experience. It’s a trait that allows the medical professional to place himself in his patients’ shoes and work to understand the difficulty of whatever they’re going through. It also helps to motivate him to maintain his high level of dedication and care through long hours and under tumultuous conditions.

That’s one of the reasons why the doctor also prioritizes celebrating accomplishments with his team along the way. In fact, he builds time into each day to take stock of the work he’s engaged in at that time and to look forward to the work left in the day. He records the efforts of those around him and makes sure to highlight their victories together. These practices show that the doctor’s empathy extends not just to patients but also the dedicated men and women with whom he works, knowing that they too are motivated to make a difference in the lives of those around them.

Caring for patients successfully requires a myriad of talents. It certainly benefits from a high degree of knowledge and training to help patients thrive through their medical treatments. But it also requires a level of mutual trust that is built through empathy, communication, attention to detail, and a genuine desire to alleviate suffering. The work of Dr. Alddo Molinar helps to showcase how these talents manifest in the real world. Looking to his efforts and analyzing how he interacts with patients can be an informative practice for any medical professional seeking to attain the highest possible level of patient care.

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Medium- Why Masks are Important — a Note from MD Alddo Molinar

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a global health emergency that has fundamentally shifted so much about the way we engage in society. Stay at home recommendations and social distancing guidelines have been important components of the global approach to limiting disease transmission. However, inconsistent information has, in part, contributed to confusion around a topic of great importance in this fight — the benefits of wearing masks to control the spread of the virus. I’ve taken some time to summarize some of the most relevant information on this topic to clearly show that — yes — wearing a mask is a key part of fighting this pandemic.

Official recommendations

First, let me address some of the early confusion surrounding mask use and how official recommendations have been updated as more information has become available. In the early days of the pandemic, some official health organizations were not recommending the use of masks. This recommendation, ultimately, stemmed from a lack of information as to how effective masks would be for the general population to combat virus transmission. It was also born out of a desire to ensure frontline medical personnel had access to masks in order to allow them to continue treating patients while minimizing their risk of falling ill.

We now know much more about how this virus spreads, and new recommendations have emerged from health organizations emphasizing the importance of masks in slowing this pandemic. Masks are now required in many public areas and are considered an important part of a cohesive public health strategy alongside other measures such as handwashing and social distancing. Do not be confused by the shift in guidelines as information emerged, health organizations around the world are now in agreement that wearing masks can help slow the spread of Covid-19 and can, therefore, help to save lives.

Mask types

At this point, many people have heard of N95 masks. These masks are recommended for medical workers directly interacting with infected patients. This is because N95 masks are designed to filter out both large and small particles, making them adept at handling filtration in situations where there may be a high concentration of viral particles in the environment. As the name might imply, such masks are designed to filter out 95% of particulates. Some N95 masks are manufactured with a valve that allows unfiltered air to escape the mask upon exhalation. These masks are not considered appropriate by many organizations for slowing the spread of Covid-19 since they do not protect others from an infected individual wearing such a mask.

In most cases, the types of masks recommended for general usage are cloth coverings or face masks made from cloth or similar materials. These masks can be handmade or purchased from retailers, however, they must possess a few characteristics to be considered appropriate for usage to slow virus transmission. Masks must cover both the user’s face and mouth and must be fitted to conform closely to the user’s face. An ill-fitting mask can allow air transmission around its sides, allowing unfiltered air to pass into the environment, defeating the purpose of the device. Correct fit can be achieved through properly tightened straps and a well-tailored mask shape.

How masks work

In the case of Covid-19, one of the primary means of virus transmission is through the air. This type of transmission occurs when viral particles are exhaled by an infected individual and become airborne. Viral particles that are then inhaled by another individual can cause the second person to contract the illness. This process can occur even if the first individual is not showing symptoms. Indeed, some studies have indicated that viral load is highest in a person the day before they show symptoms.

While viral particles are smaller than the holes in a cloth mask, these masks are still effective for helping to stop the spread of the virus. Why’s that? It’s because one of the primary ways that viral particles end up in the air is through exhaled saliva droplets. These droplets, if unimpeded, travel into the air containing a high load of viral particles. When these droplets evaporate, the viral particles are then suspended in the air. A cloth mask can block these droplets as they’re exhaled, keeping them from evaporating into the air and protecting other individuals from inhaling viral particles.

Masks and social distancing

Masks can be especially effective when combined with other practices such as social distancing. As noted above, masks can help stop droplets containing the virus from entering the air and evaporating. They can also help to minimize the distance that such an exhalation might cover. When an unmasked individual exhales, especially a cough, their concentrated breath can carry quite far — upwards of 30 feet by some estimations. The breath of a masked individual, by contrast, is contained to a much smaller area — several inches to 3 feet 7 inches depending on the material the mask is made of. This was recently published in the Journal of Physics and Fluids.

From this information, it is plain to see the sense in social distancing recommendations, which advocate that people stand 6 feet apart from each other. When practiced along with proper mask usage, such guidelines can help to drastically reduce the spread of the virus. Other guidelines such as proper hand washing and stay at home recommendations can also aid in this fight. These guidelines are important whether or not you are showing symptoms since that is no guarantee that you are not a carrier.

The impact of Covid-19 has been felt extensively across the world. In order to slow the spread of this disease, and in the process save lives, we must all take certain precautions recommended by health organizations at many different levels. One important component of this ongoing battle is the need to wear masks when in public. As we’ve seen above, proper mask usage can help to slow the transmission of viral particles into the air and, thus, help to reduce the chances of individuals becoming infected. Wear masks in public, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and limit exposure to others. With these guidelines, we can all do our part to weather this storm together.

More information on Alddo Molinar on Blogwebpedia

BusinessTimes- Alddo Molinar Showcases the Many Sides to a Career in Medicine

Medical doctors are one of the most revered professions in the modern economy. With good reason, when it comes to relieving suffering and improving the world, doctors have some of the greatest impacts on the people they help. However, although the profession is respected, many individuals have an incomplete understanding of what it’s like to be a doctor in the present day and age. In order to begin answering this question, we turned to Dr. Alddo Molinar. Using details from the doctor, we’ve been able to create an overview that paints a more complete picture of what a doctor’s life is really like.

Becoming a doctor

One of the first things that many people think of when they think of the path to becoming a doctor is the need to attend medical school. While this is an important aspect of the journey, medical school is just one component of a process that actually begins much earlier. As we can see from Alddo Molinar, the early stages of his life show that a doctor’s journey often first starts with a natural aptitude and desire to relieve suffering. That was something the doctor showed quite early on in life. Motivated, in part, by witnessing firsthand the devastating toll that illness took on family members, his interest in helping others heal was seeded as a child. That desire, coupled with early mechanical abilities, helped establish his professional goals early in life.

After that early interest, the doctor pursued an undergraduate degree in biology followed by, yes, medical school at The University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas. Though these were formative experiences in his life, perhaps some of his most influential training came during his residency at the Cleveland Clinic. The medical center helped provide the doctor with a more complete understanding of not only his primary field of anesthesiology, but also additional subspecialties such as neurology and cardiology. The doctor followed his residency with a fellowship at the same medical center where he served as Chief Fellow and was able to further refine his set of skills.

Packed days

Since patients typically only interact with doctors in the context of their own medical needs, they don’t often get a chance to see how filled the rest of a doctor’s day might be. Speaking with the anesthesiologist provides a more complete picture of his work, which helps set the example for how the days of many other doctors are filled. The doctor likens his work to being a pilot at a busy airport. In his case, the airport is the operating room and his role is to ensure that patients are properly anesthetized so that surgeries can occur safely. He does so as part of a highly coordinated effort with other medical professionals in a typical operating room, whose actions bare a resemblance to the structured schedule that is maintained at a busy airport.

In order to accommodate the needs of such a busy working environment, the doctor must rigidly structure his own routine as well. This typically involves waking up at 5:15 am before arriving at the hospital and seeing his first patients of the day by 6:15. Surgeries begin shortly thereafter, leaving his plate full as he watches over multiple operating rooms making sure his work is going smoothly. This busy schedule continues throughout the day, leaving even his breaks highly organized. To that end, the doctor will typically schedule a 10:00 am cup of coffee to give himself time to reflect on his morning’s progress and look forward to the rest of the day.

Constant flexibility

As scheduled and orderly as a doctor’s day may appear from the outside, it also incorporates a high need for flexibility. Since medical professionals are often responding to the urgent needs of patients, there is no telling when such needs might arise. Even while the doctor is monitoring multiple operating rooms to ensure that planned surgeries are progressing as scheduled, he also keeps his attention open to needs that may require his attention from other sources. This can include patients at the preadmission clinic, recovery rooms, intensive care unit, and other locations. Even the main desk can serve as a focal point of attention if a patient arrives in need of immediate assistance.

Though the above information showcases how packed a doctor’s workday can become, it doesn’t touch upon the ways in which a doctor’s assistance may be needed outside of normal operating hours. In reality, patients can require assistance at any time or on any day of the week. This often requires that the doctor be on call after hours and on weekends so that he can handle emergencies as they arise. While on call, he will often communicate with patients who he’s already worked with in order to follow up and make sure that their recovery is progressing in a positive manner. As can be seen, the inherent uncertainty that accompanies work in the medical field requires a high degree of flexibility in order to properly fulfill one’s job responsibilities.

Staying motivated

In the face of the many difficulties that can be encountered in the medical field, many doctors struggle with staying motivated and not burning out. Speaking on this topic, the doctor helps explain how he remains devoted to his work and patients by pointing to people in other professions from which he draws inspiration. One of the people that has served this role for him is Michael Jordan, the famous basketball player. He notes how Jordan was always learning from his past and utilizing those lessons to progress towards his goals. Through this focus on learning and relentless preparation, he was able to become recognized as one of the greatest players of all time. The doctor strives to institute his own high level of preparedness in his work in order to stay focused and motivated to achieve his aspirations regarding patient care.

Though doctors are one of the most well-respected professions in the world, their work is not always fully understood. By learning more about the profession, individuals can help to better understand this critical field. Look to the above overview, which utilizes information from Dr. Alddo Molinar, to begin to gain a better understanding of how doctors operate in the current medical system.

More about Alddo Molinar at

MedicalNewsUS- Dr. Alddo Molinar on What Helps Him Excel in Field of Medicine

While many of us may have personal opinions about what we look for in medical professionals, it’s also true that there are some traits that generally help a doctor stand out above others in their field. To further explore this concept, we talked to a highly successful practitioner in the field of anesthesiology, Dr. Alddo Molinar. By getting input from the doctor as to what he feels helps him excel, we are able to better understand the medical field in general and some of the characteristics that help distinguish the top professionals working today.

Career history

Two things that can help a doctor stand out from his or her peers are a strong passion for their work and a robust education in their field. In the case of Alddo Molinar, his passion comes, in part, from his early experiences growing up as the first U.S. citizen in his extended family. As a result, he was expected from an early age to capitalize on the opportunities afforded to him and make a difference in the world. It was clear as his personality took shape that he would be able to do just that. A natural intellectual aptitude coupled with a keen interest in helping to relieve other’s suffering, helped point him towards a career in medicine. When he witnessed individuals in his own family fall ill to disease, it only reinforced his commitment to his path.

With his passion firmly established, the future doctor turned his attention to his education as soon as he could. His first introduction to this work came from an opportunity to shadow at the Rio Grande Health Clinic in El Paso, Texas. When it came time for college, he attended Trinity University and received his B.S. in Biology. He went on to attend medical school at The University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas and completed his residency at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. While receiving training at the medical center, he not only worked in his primary field of anesthesiology, but also underwent additional training in subspecialties related to neurology, trauma care, cardiology, and more.  He even completed a fellowship training in Critical Care Medicine to better care for patients in the intensive care unit.

Wide knowledge base

Although a medical professional’s understanding of the technical aspects of their field must be precise and in-depth, the doctor notes that there are a myriad of additional areas in which an experienced medical practitioner must also be skilled. One key component of his work is the importance of social skills, such as teamwork. To that point, he discusses the role of such a skill in the context of an operating room, which he likens to a busy airport. With so many medical professionals working at once to achieve a positive outcome for a patient, it is critical that they be able to collaborate effectively as a cohesive unit.

The doctor also notes the value of education that exists outside of what many might consider to be a traditional medical background. He counts himself lucky to have attended a liberal arts university for his undergraduate work that made it mandatory for students to study a variety of different subjects. Through this policy, he was introduced to many topics which he might never have encountered in an environment that focused exclusively on medical studies. This includes courses on Asian religions, music, cultural studies, and more. By possessing such a well-rounded knowledge base, the anesthesiologist is better able to use diverse mindsets to tackle a variety of problems and to more effectively serve a range of patients as well as communicate with patients and their families.

Record keeping

Another area that the doctor finds to be critical to his work in the medical field is his ability to keep records. One way in which he works towards this goal is to keep a running journal with him at all times. He uses the journal to track the progress of ongoing procedures, record ideas, and stay in touch with his own goals. The versatility of the format also allows him to use it as a space in which to brainstorm or prioritize action items throughout a busy day. Ultimately the tool can allow him to be more productive and remind him of various points of interest that he’d like to remember.

More broadly, the doctor notes that record keeping is an important part of effective patient interactions. By tracking medical records, medical professionals are able to better understand how a patient’s condition is evolving over time. This level of understanding can help evaluate the effectiveness of past treatments and can help to guide future treatment options if necessary. Keeping an orderly record tracking process can sometimes mean the difference between an effective medical practitioner and one who is ultimately ineffective.

Using technology

The doctor also notes that technology can be a key factor influencing a medical professional’s effectiveness. In the example of record keeping, technology can play a large role in helping doctors to successfully track patient progress over time. In fact, record-keeping software is constantly evolving to help streamline this process. It can also be helped along by dictation software, which is also continually improving. By allowing medical professionals to dictate notes, such software can work to enhance record-keeping methods by increasing time efficiency, accuracy, and organization.

The doctor also notes that the future of medical technology is bright. One area that he singles out in this regard is the advancement of artificial intelligence and related technologies. Though the presence of a human medical practitioner is still an essential part of the treatment paradigm that is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon, the use of artificial intelligence in the medical field holds plenty of promise for advancements in treatment quality. Such technology could help medical professionals diagnose ailments with greater accuracy and could provide additional treatment resources that might otherwise be unavailable.

While many of us may have personal preferences that affect our opinions of the medical professionals that help care for us, there are still many widely applicable practices that can help such professionals improve their skills as a whole. By looking to information from Dr. Alddo Molinar, we can begin to form an understanding of some of the ways that top practitioners ensure that they are delivering the highest quality of care possible.

Blogwebpedia- Interview with Anesthesiologist, Alddo Molinar


Alddo Molinar is an attending anesthesiologist at both Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital. As a first-generation U.S. citizen born to Mexican parents, expectations were high for him during his childhood growing up in Texas. However, it was clear from an early age that he had a natural aptitude that would allow him to not only meet but also exceed those expectations.

This fact was most apparent when examining his lifelong interest in medicine. Feeling drawn to a career in which could help others and relieve suffering, a career as a medical professional was an early goal in Molinar’s life. This desire would only intensify as he saw family members fall ill to cancer.

In the pursuit of his goals, Alddo Molinar attended Trinity University where he earned a BS in Biology. Following his undergraduate work, he attended medical school at The University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas where he was awarded the Bryan Williams Scholarship and became a member of the United Latin American Medical Students association.

The doctor’s residency was completed at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, where he not only trained at the medical center’s Anesthesiology Institute, but also participated in additional training in the field of critical care medicine. This work would continue with a fellowship at the same medical center during which he served as Chief Fellow and trained in numerous other subspecialties including neurological and cardiovascular intensive care.


Alddo, tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am a critical care anesthesiologist.  I am the physician that takes care of you when you need to get through tough situations, like surgeries or major illnesses.  I work in concert with your surgeon to get you through in the best possible way.  Usually, I work with an excellent team of nurses and aides as part of what is called a care team.  People often forget about the importance of their anesthesiologist because we are very much a “behind the scenes” doctor.   Among other things, we are critical to making sure your brain continues to receive oxygen, your kidneys continue to purify your blood, and you wake up in the least amount of pain possible.  I also have obtained extra training in Critical Care Medicine, which allows me to take care of the sickest of the sick in the intensive care unit.  The sicker you are, the more likely you will need a physician like me.

What is a recent idea you had and how did you bring it to life?

I was recently taking care of a patient from a different hospital system, the Cleveland Clinic, to be exact.  I needed to know the results of a test done at the Cleveland Clinic.  It would make a difference in taking the best care of this patient; the only catch was I needed to know soon – this patient required an urgent operation.  When I asked the nurse how they usually got the result of this study, she rolled her eyes and said it wouldn’t be here in time because we had to fill out a form on paper, send it via fax, wait for someone at the Cleveland Clinic to review the fax, find the record and fax it back.  The process would take hours in the best-case scenario and days in the more likely scenario.  The process was incredibly inefficient, and it left the sickest and most vulnerable patients at the most significant disadvantage.

Thankfully, we had recently upgraded to a new electronic medical record called EPIC.  EPIC was the same as the electronic medical record used at the Cleveland Clinic.  The Cleveland Clinic is a great place; I know this because I trained there.  How could I get the results of a test the patient had already undergone and paid for to take the best care of a patient today?

I initiated a process that ultimately led to a strengthened effort to link the two electronic medical records so they could communicate directly to avoid the inefficient middle steps, which still involves a fax machine. This process is now called CareEverywhere, and the software or operating system that made it possible is called EPIC.  Thankfully, many non-medical, highly skilled software engineers listened to clinicians like me to help make a positive difference in the lives of millions of patients.  Together, we make a tremendous difference!  For this, I was named a physician champion, an award I cherish to this day.  More importantly, the process I helped strengthen continues to exist and will exist for years to come.

What’s your favorite thing about your past job?

In my past job, I had the opportunity to be a department chairman, one of the lead physicians in a hospital.  I had a chance to shape a world-class team towards the best practices and impact the care of tens of thousands of patients.  I am most proud of how we integrated our workflows with the use of technology and an electronic medical record.  I am also proud of our effort to move an entire obstetrics service, with about 3,000 deliveries per year, to our hospital.  There is a tremendous amount of preparation that must happen before a new service starts in a hospital.  Also, the first case has to do well.  I did the first operating room delivery in our hospital in a theme that has persisted in my career.  When someone needs to do well, as someone who works well under pressure, I am usually involved in their care.

What are your keys to making yourself productive?

I stay organized, and I surround myself with people that hold me accountable.  I carry a composition book in my messenger bag as a journal.  I keep track of everything from meetings to projects (large and small), including the steps needed to complete these projects.  I also like to have multiple projects simultaneously, which allows me to move them along daily in various ways.  Often I am inspired during relatively mundane activities like driving home or waiting for my kids to fall asleep.  I usually take a quick moment to jot down notes and refer to these notes for further brainstorming, planning, and ultimately to see them through thorough completion.  The importance of who you surround yourself with cannot be underscored enough.  I believe we all have different strengths, and if you can line up these strengths well, you can form a Superbowl winning play.  Sometimes patients need Superbowl winning plays and a Superbowl winning team to get them through a hospital stay and home to their loved ones.  They simply deserve nothing less, whether in a big city like Cleveland or visiting family in an underserved part of Appalachia.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

I am at the point in my career where I understand my strengths and weaknesses and know I can make a difference one patient at a time.  I also know that I can use the armamentarium I have developed over a lifetime to help strengthen the system that cares for patients by further applying technology.  I think we need to be at the forefront of technological trends, including advanced monitoring and artificial intelligence to make the most meaningful impact on our patient population.  For example, I can envision a future where we use artificial intelligence to flag something happening in one of our operating rooms as a critical event, which can bring more resources to help that patient and avoid the downward spiral of an adverse outcome.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

I think it is essential to be flexible and highly adaptable.  I read a book by Joseph Campbell called The Hero with a Thousand Faces.  He describes the hero as a very ordinary person who is called to adventure.  The hero faces many battles along the way and gets “special powers” by overcoming battles, temptations, and failures.  The hero gains allies and enemies and learns how to fight both conventionally and unconventionally.  The hero seeks mentors along the way that provide advice about the path both far and close.  The hero also experiences failures along the way.  Every hero has at least one major fall in life.  Campbell calls this the abyss or being in the belly of the whale.  When the hero is in this phase, they undergoe tremendous growth.  While not losing the fear of failure, the true hero gets back up with the same grit, determination, and aggressiveness that propelled them to succeed before.  If you adapt and maintain your courage despite failure, you are very likely to succeed in life.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

Medicine is a fascinating field.  In some ways, it doesn’t change much; in others, it is ever-changing.  If you look at something like pneumonia, or an infection of the lungs, you would initially think it has been around forever.  However, the causes of lung infection are varied, and the ways of treating this are many.  The specific bacteria, virus, or fungus causing pneumonia makes a tremendous difference in how you manage this.  You also have to support the body while giving it the best chances of succeeding in overcoming the infection.  Things like the best type of programming for the ventilator, the best nutrition, the best sedation become essential.  Medicine is also so vast that you have to stay on top of different studies that control for specific variables.  All of these require a lifetime of learning and remaining connected to the respective sources of literature.  The most important advice I can give anyone interested in pursuing medicine is to continue to learn.  I strongly suggest one hour of professional learning each day.  Sometimes you have to do more, but the emphasis is on small aliquots over long periods.  It should be such that you have covered everything in your respective specialties’ textbook at least every few years.  Conversely, you should not encounter anything in clinical practice that you haven’t reviewed in a structured formal manner within the past few years.  Medicine is very much a journey.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

I am the sort of person who likes to tackle big projects at work and home.  I enjoy the planning, budgeting, researching, and recruiting the best team.  I also like dividing projects into different phases and developing metrics to track success at each stage.  If you can string a series of successful steps together, you can achieve something worthwhile.  Besides being intellectual, I am also fairly good with my hands, so I enjoy working on projects around the house with the same attention to detail as in my professional life.  I am often found in the garage looking up the torque specs for a bolt or drawing a circuit diagram to understand the flow of electrons better.  There are many parallels between medicine and the physical world around us.  They both conform to the laws of physics, and understanding one often leads to a parallel solution in the other.  My next project is the restoration of a 1975 C3 Corvette.  When I want to get away truly, I enjoy playing golf.  There is something incredibly relaxing about being out in nature with a bag of tools trying to find the best way to finesse a ball into a tiny hole battling the laws of physics.  In golf as in life, even the small undulations on a green can affect a putt’s trajectory.  Similarly, a well-executed series of plays leads to an equally gratifying clink sound of a ball in the cup as a clapping sound high five after a job well done in the operating room. 

 I also really enjoy music, especially playing the guitar.  I grew up in Texas, so country music flows through my veins.  I met the love of my life from the great state of Kentucky, so I  have taken a liking to bluegrass.  One of my favorite songs is playing the fingerpicking part of  “Take me home, country roads” by John Denver.  I have a variety of other interests, and I have found that I can draw from these life experiences to best communicate with patients.  Speaking to patients and their families in a language they can understand is one of the most humanizing ways of caring for patients.

Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.

One of the best growth opportunities is related to failure.  Although failure can be trying, it is often necessary for meaningful growth.  I recently read a book by John Maxwell called Failing Forward.  This is an excellent leadership book that suggests that unless you are failing with some frequency, you likely aren’t pushing ahead enough.  Of course, you don’t want to fail too often, but if you’re going to have any chance of hitting a ball out of the ballpark, you have to swing big.  The second book that I recently enjoyed reading was The Serving Leader: Five Powerful Actions That Will Transform Your Team, Your Business, and Your Community.  The principal concept is that a good leader serves those in their organization.  Remaining grounded and humble, you can get far more done in life.  Thanks for the opportunity to contribute.

More about Alddo Molinar at 

Ideamensch- Interview with Anesthesiologist, Alddo Molinar

Alddo Molinar is an attending anesthesiologist at the East Ohio Regional Hospital and the Ohio Valley Medical Center. Born and raised in Texas, the medical doctor is the eldest son of two Mexican immigrants. He was the first U.S. citizen in his extended family, expected to avail himself of the opportunity presented by his family’s new country of residence.

From an early age, it was clear the future doctor had the capacity to make good on that expectation. Picking up skills with exceptional ease, he reached many of his developmental milestones much faster than his peers. Early mechanical aptitude eventually led him to tackle increasingly harder projects, leaving appliances dissembled and reassembled to better understand how they functioned.

Fueled, in part, by the tragic losses of his grandfather and grandmother to cancer, Alddo Molinar would eventually turn his natural aptitude to medical school in order to use his skills to ease suffering in others. That decision led him to earn his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas and eventually complete his residency at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic.

That residency not only provided him with a training of the highest quality, it also introduced him to someone who would play a pivotal role in his life — his wife. After a courtship in which they navigated residency together, the two married and have since given birth to two daughters and a son. Alddo Molinar calls his close-knit family his new crew, showcasing the love he and his family have created in their home.

When reflecting on his life to date, the doctor notes that what he initially thought of as a destination has become an ongoing journey. That journey is built on values he learned from an early age and continues to lead him along his path of self-betterment.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

From as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a doctor. According to my parents, at the age of five, the dream started. However, when I lost my grandmother in 6th grade to the sudden and insidiously progressive disease of pancreatic cancer, my calling truly began to gel. She suffered needlessly as cancer robbed her of physical strength and vigor. She was deeply religious. Despite the incredible suffering she endured, from the agonizing physical pain, endless nausea and vomiting, and even the intractable itching from her jaundiced yellow skin, she remained a rock of strength in my life. I watched helplessly as our family went through the cycle of hope in medicine’s ever more aggressive therapeutic options, followed by the let-down of continued disease progression. Ultimately, we lost our matriarch. As an impressionable young grandchild, my resolve to help with suffering tempered. As I became older, I shadowed at the Rio Grande Health Clinic in El Paso, Texas. I found different ways of serving my community through various specialties while taking extra time with patients and their families. I continue the fight to this day – with all my training and all my might – against the formidable foe of disease.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

The best analogy for what an operating room is like is a busy airport. Much like an airport has scheduled flights, the operating room has scheduled surgeries, often weeks in advance. Surgical instruments are sterilized, grafts or implants are made available, operating rooms are cleaned and restocked before beginning every operation. Also, like an airport has an abundance of specialized personnel, the operating room does as well. The pilots in the operating room are the anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists. They take the patient to high levels of anesthesia, where surgery can happen safely. Taking off and landing are the most challenging and often necessitate extra hands on deck.
A typical day begins the day before as a schedule develops to best accommodate cases in the most efficient manner. On the day of surgery, I wake up at 0515 in the morning, and I am in the hospital seeing my first patients at 0615. The first surgery starts around 0700, and it remains reasonably busy starting some rooms, watching others, finishing other rooms while seeing patients in the preadmission clinic to prepare for upcoming surgeries. It is essential to remain available to the preadmission clinic, the preoperative area, the operating rooms, the recovery rooms, the postoperative floors, the intensive care unit, as well as
the main desk as any of these, can turn into a hotspot where you need a well-trained anesthesiologist to stamp out disease or work through a process issue. Around 1000, I make protected time for my “10 o’clock cup of coffee.” It is a time to reflect on the progress of the morning and strategize to get the primary goals for the day accomplished. It is a fascinating and rewarding profession, especially if you can do it well. Teamwork and playing well with others is essential.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The first part of this has to be the quality of good ideas. Excellent ideas are relatively easy to bring to fruition as the need and momentum provide wind to the sails of progress. I often reflect during the day to find needs that breed good ideas. Necessity is the mother of invention, and it applies to ideas, this is no exception. Also, I immediately write these down for further brainstorming later. The second part of this, for me, is gathering a good team. Often, it is essential to bring multiple heads together for added perspective. I try to have clear goals. I believe in a well-documented mission statement to solidify purpose. It’s also essential to identify potential trouble and develop a plan for how to get through them. Inevitably there will be a setback, during which it is crucial to accurately diagnose the problem to get to the root cause. In medicine, the goal is to have the best outcome for a patient and their family, as timely as possible, with the best use of your healthcare system’s resources. The ultimate customer is the patient, and if you always do the right thing for the patient, simply put, everything else will sort itself out. Finally, the importance of the team cannot be underscored enough. The building, cultivating, maintaining, and nurturing your team is the key to delivering consistently excellent results. Much like a championship team, shared battles forge deep bonds and lead to an understanding of individual strengths. You would be surprised how wonderful it is to be a part of the championship-winning team that wins great battles for patients daily. Harnessing this esprit de corps sustains ideas better than any singular individual can. It is a privilege to be a part of this team.

What’s one trend that excites you?

One trend that gets me very excited is the ever-increasing use of technology in medicine. We have come a long way since the 555 timer chip you could buy at Radio Shack as a kid. Microcontrollers and sensors are much more present now than ever. Our ability to monitor and administer therapeutics has improved exponentially since the middle of the 20th century. On the horizon is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as it relates to patient care as well as population health. In regards to anesthesia, it can help monitor many more patients and help bring important trends to the attention of the appropriate provider. One can imagine a situation where specific data points, like blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse oximetry, can be monitored in all the patients in a hospital. When specific trends are apparent based on alarms and algorithms, it would instantly flag and dispatch an advanced early response team to the patient’s bedside. On a postoperative floor where patients arrive after surgery, such as after knee replacement or abdominal surgery, there is a very fine line between patients getting enough pain relief without getting too much pain relief where they can stop breathing. Imagine asking Alexa to find any patients at risk of respiratory depression after surgery and ring your pager? Hundreds of lives per year could be saved in our country alone. Once the software is written, there is a minimal ongoing, and if it is the difference between your grandmother coming home after surgery or not – it is hard not to justify the effort. In this current climate of COVID 19, major players like Apple are taking the lead with heart rate, respiratory rate analyses to improve population health. With so many potential data points, you still need good medicine to find meaningful trends and develop the alarms and algorithms that would be the most beneficial. We still need generations of well-trained providers, but their impact can be even more significant. The appropriate use of technology to further the health and wellbeing of a patient or group of patients is one of the most exciting changes to medicine I anticipate in the next decade.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

One of the greatest challenges is keeping yourself motivated. I watched a documentary a few weeks ago about Michael “Air” Jordan. Michael Jordan was ever-present. He would take the lessons of yesterday, spend countless hours on preparation, and worry about what he could do today to maintain an incredibly high standard. When he needed to, he would build a narrative in his mind that would help him visualize and ultimately deliver success. In medicine, you give so much of yourself each day. It is a tremendous privilege to help patients get better and get them back to their daily lives. Since patients get sick at all hours of the day, we often have to be on call after hours and weekends. During my call days, usually on Saturdays, I frequently call patients at home to follow-up—this feedback on how we did as a team and how we can improve our healthcare delivery model. The team also appreciates the updates of past patients served.
Also, I keep a running journal in the form of a wide-ruled composition notebook with me at all times. I journal ideas as well as keep track of ideas and track the progress of my goals to completion. Some of my entries even serve as a blank canvas to brainstorm ideas. Other entries are to-do lists to help prioritize through a busy day. By constantly reviewing and prioritizing my short, middle, and long term goals, I can better track and follow through on goals; I can make the most productive use of my work time. At the end of the year, my journal is a good way of tracking the accomplishments and accolades of the year that passed. I usually use this to send an email to the team of a job well done.

What advice would you give your younger self?

This is a great question. It is often said that many of us would gladly return to a younger self if only we could take the wisdom of age with us. Medicine, in many ways, is a calling where you can easily give too much of yourself. There is no-one that tells you that you have worked too many hours this week as a physician. We generally do not clock in and out, and even when we are “clocked out,” we still think about patients and progress outside of the hospital. Being a doctor is not something you can turn on or off; instead, it is a part of us and our identity. As such, I would tell my younger self always to find time to take care of yourself. Physical and mental health is vital and constant attention is required. A younger version of myself would easily spend days, weeks, and months on singular work goals. I understand why it is so easy to do this now; it is a just cause.

However, I now recognize the importance of balance. I still spend time on work priorities, but I also find time to go fishing with my daughters and son. I go on dates and even walks with my wife. Watering the garden and hanging out in the garage is therapeutic. I use meditation and yoga to keep me in the present. Conveying the importance of balance to my younger self would just be great.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

This is interesting because, as it applies to medicine, rarely do you do something that nobody agrees with you on. One of my mentors said that you never want to be the first person to prescribe a new medication or the last person to prescribe an old medication. If you carefully weigh the risks and benefits of each decision, with consideration of the alternatives, you generally arrive at the best answer, at least for now. It is relatively easy, once you know the diagnosis, to lookup the treatment. This is a fundamental tenet in medicine, and if you get the diagnosis correct, you have a chance at a reasonable outcome. Having trained at the Cleveland Clinic, our standard there was considerably higher. Aside from emphasizing the importance of collegiality and collaboration, there was also importance given to the timing. For example, once you make the diagnosis that a patient on an operating room needs blood, there are still many steps until the patient has red blood cells added to their bloodstream to make a difference. The sooner you can start this, safely, of course, the better for the patient. I do think that you can bring this same high standard to any hospital in the country. Appreciating the importance of timing is just one of the many ways to deliver world-class outcomes to less well served and represented communities. Sometimes it is even easier to deliver world-class outcomes at a smaller hospital because there less “red-tape.” I don’t think there is a general appreciation of this by larger institutions and sometimes even by the community.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I was fortunate to attend a liberal arts university that really made it mandatory to study many different subjects, not just the courses needed for a degree. I learned about Asian religions, cultural studies, music, etc. I really wish I would have taken more courses in finance realm and maybe even double majored or minored in business. It seems to do medicine well, you also have to appreciate fiduciary responsibility and be good stewards of our resources. I have had to learn much of this on my own but a more structured fashion, as provided with an undergraduate education would have been something I would do over.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I think it is incredibly important to continue to study. One of my previous department chairs, Dr. Dave Brown, who was on the board of the American Board of Anesthesiologists (ASA), quantified this best by saying you should spend one hour per day on professional growth. I continue to study and read an average of an hour a day. I usually try to find something throughout the day to delve into excruciating detail. Over the year, with additional dedicated time to scholarly articles, I can maintain an excellent working fund of knowledge. I usually print these articles and leave them around my desk to prompt discussions with my colleagues to keep our collective knowledge base well proficient.
As much as we have progressed to be a digital generation, I prefer to have something on paper to mark, highlight, and take notes on. At the end of the month, I usually scan these articles or file an electronic copy, so I have these articles readily available should I need to review them. To maintain our medical license and board certification, we are required to log a certain number of continuing medical education hours; I always try to be well above the minimum requirement.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I enjoy reading about successful people. It helps me understand their motivation and learn from their mistakes. It is clear that most extraordinarily successful people also have big, painful failures. The most important thing to do is to gather the lessons those failures give you and gain humility and open-mindedness to succeed the next time. Steve Jobs, on reflecting on getting fired from Apple, famously said, “It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.” The pain of failure will fade, but failure and reflection are the best gifts life can give to prompt profound personal and professional growth. In my own life, a young version of myself felt very self-made. I was the first in my family to finish college, to complete a graduate school, the first doctor, etc. I spent time at Yale and went to the best colleges and the 14th best medical school in the country in terms of academics. Yet, at the risk of revealing the importance of faith in my life, I realized that I was not very self-made at all, but I was very much supported throughout my journey by the good lord above. My journey came full circle back to my faith, and I became very much born-again. When I recognized this, I realized the importance of not-self but rather the team. The ability to cultivate, motivate, and promote a winning team was a better way of helping not just the patient in from of me but the system that cared for many patients at once. In fact, with humility, you can, in essence, become a better, more effective doctor. I too, have taken tough medicine, and am better for it.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

As I mentioned earlier, whoever pioneers the use of artificial intelligence in medicine, especially in anesthesia, will make a significant impact on healthcare. Back to my airport analogy, you still are going to need pilots in the operating room. The power can glitch, and the delay in getting to backup power can reset the computer. What if the situation is in itself so critical that the generators are prone to failure like the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. What if something simple like the monitor backlight fails. What if there is a cyberattack and you lose access to the patient information. I worked at a facility that was the victim of a ransomware attack, and we had to divert patients from coming to our hospital system. Ethically, it just isn’t right to target a hospital that is helping patients – this is like purposely aiming your weapons at a red cross ship or a hospital during a time of war. Nonetheless, we had to return to pen and paper until it was sorted. It is also natural for the operating room pilots to feel a concern for job security with the discussion of new technology. In fact, in the Boeing 737 Max 8 disaster, the more control was taken away from the pilots to override the technology, the worse the outcome. Anesthesia has long been at the forefront of using new technology to monitor a patient’s vital signs and even depth of anesthesia. So, whoever develops this into a working model first has significant potential to effect positive change. The challenge is that few coders have the training or credentials to understand medicine. Few physicians who have decades of education, training, and practice have any coding or understanding of microcontrollers or have any idea the number of sensors a simple website like can provide. Marrying the two, especially with a team to get it done, can truly change the world. The business will undoubtedly follow.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Well, this is a no-brainer. My oldest daughter was recently hospitalized with a terrible infection that almost cost us her eyesight. She had to be hospitalized at our local children’s hospital, Akron Children’s in Boardman, Ohio. As part of her hospitalization, she had to have labs drawn, and it was excruciating as a parent to see her phobia of needles cause her to get flushed with anxiety and paralyzed with fear. She knew the importance of the lab draws. My wife and I are both medical, and we could convey that to her. However, the catecholamine release from her as a pediatric patient caused everyone else to be nervous. I could see this as a board-certified anesthesiologist. One of the best pediatric emergency nurses we have ever met suggested she try the Buzzy® Bee. It works by blocking and distracting the brain with a cold pad as well as a fairly strong vibration, the buzzing sound a vibrator makes, and the look of a Bee. It covers three of the five major senses (sight, touch, sound), and I would include hot/cold differentiation as a fourth. It was developed by an emergency room physician, Dr. Amy Baxter, and she apparently even pitched the idea to Shark Tank. At first, it seems a little pricey but as a parent seeing your child in distress, there is almost no price I wouldn’t pay to help ease her suffering.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Record-keeping in medicine is highly essential. It helps you remember what happened the last time you saw a patient, helps track progress, and it conveys your thoughts and plans to the rest of the team. Since your brain works much faster than your ability to type, the use of dictation software can significantly increase productivity.
I have used several, but Fluency’s M-Modal seems to be the one that works best for my workflow. As electronic medical records and dictation software alike help with record keeping they now also allow the use of macros, or quick buttons you can press to minimize the need to do repetitive tasks like opening a window, clicking tab twice, and starting a not with the patient name and date.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

One of my favorite books that I am re-reading at the moment is the book Principles. It is written by Ray Dalio, the CEO and founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the premier investment management firms in the world. I really enjoy reading about how Ray Dalio built a multibillion-dollar company first by developing a competitive advantage through careful study and dedication. Over the next 40 years, Ray Dalio built a world-class team, even using psychology tests to best position the team for success. I know this is more of a financial book, but the principles of making a successful team apply to medicine as well.

What is your favorite quote?

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more of it I have.”
—Thomas Jefferson.
This really emphasizes the need for preparation to do well. How often does someone wish you luck on an exam or a project presentation, only for you to think about all the blood sweat and tears it took to get to this point. Of course, I never turn down well wishes, but preparation is vital.

Key Learnings:

  • First, I would emphasize the importance of balance. It is really easy, especially if you are good at something professionally, to neglect the things in life that matter personally. Taking good care of your physical and mental health are first and foremost. Make spending time with your family a priority, simply put – your kids are only small once, enjoy.
  • Second, be humble. You get far more accomplished by speaking softly than you realize. The big stick is just for carrying. If you find yourself needing the big stick, you may need to rethink that tact or the idea itself. Surround yourself with a good team that can not only help get things done but keep you humble as well.
  • Third, if you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. To flip that to the positive, find a competitive advantage to compete with. Use all the technology at your disposal and push the boundary a few inches further.
    Mastering these three takeaways can really help make the world of medicine a better place. The cause is a noble one, and the stakes are high, but the journey is undoubtedly worthwhile and rewarding. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute.