Advanced Thoracic Surgery Center Launches in Central Florida

Treatment & Doctors

The opportunity to be a faculty member at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine and build an elite Institute for Advanced Thoracic Surgery at the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center is the best of both worlds.

We can continue our thriving clinical practice and at the same time play a very significant role in the training and education of the next generation of physicians and surgeons in Florida.

The venue is different, but the interests are the same: Bring the greatest possible treatment to patients today and into the future.

Medicine has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Organizational changes have created a lot of layers, a lot of red tape, a lot more steps to be taken. The result is that physicians, whatever their specialty, are more involved today in the minutia than in the care of people who are ill. 

Caring for People, Not Big Business

Patients are often frustrated because they have to go through a thousand steps to get care now. 

The big business of medicine today doesn’t allow you, as a doctor, to concentrate on the two things that are most important to people like me. 

No. 1, caring for people with a very human, personalized approach, one patient at a time. And No. 2, the education of the next generation of doctors, to help them understand what has gotten lost today: That all the scientific and organizational aspects of medicine are there for one singular purpose, the care of people. 

With all the distractions in medicine, young physicians are not learning how to be healers, not learning how to take care of people. They are learning from mentors and teachers who don’t have the time or energy to really teach it because they are so overloaded. 

That was behind my decision to help build the first academic medical center in Central Florida, UCF Lake Nona Medical Center. We had a thriving practice at nearby Advent Health Celebration, my previous place of service. But it was just a practice.   

I saw this as a real opportunity to serve all of Central Florida and to give back to the community. We are helping to produce great doctors for the future and playing a significant role in the training and education of the next generation of physicians and surgeons. That’s the key to this, the whole point of my move, and the whole point of my personal and professional life.

Changing the Future of Medicine

The UCF College of Medicine is relatively new. It’s the newest medical school in Florida and one of the newest in the country. The vision is extraordinary and the potential is unlimited. It already is an incredible medical school at an incredible university.

Until the emergence of the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center, the teaching hospital for the college of medicine, they didn’t have the ability to teach clinical medicine at a university hospital to young physicians. That is changing now. Now they have high-level students getting a fabulous education in basic sciences.

The new UCF Lake Nona Medical Center, with programs such as our Institute for Advanced Thoracic Surgery, is attracting the best and the brightest. People are excited to come. We are building a program with hand-picked professionals who share the same goals – the pulmonologists, critical care doctors, oncologists, radiologists, gastroenterologists, hospitalists, nurses and the entire hospital staff – all part of our team for UCF.

This academic surgery means taking care of complex illnesses such as mesothelioma cancer. But we are not taking care of mesothelioma. We are taking care of people who have mesothelioma. That’s a big difference. That’s the whole point of this. 

Focusing on Patient-First Care

If you ask me what the gold key that opens the door to success in medicine is, it’s an understanding that everything revolves around the patient. A lot of people say they believe that, but very few walk the talk. We will.

The young medical students now will be learning that even though the world is changing around them, medicine is changing, too, but caring for people shouldn’t change. They will learn that they are becoming a physician caring for others, becoming a healer.

There already is plenty of health care in Florida, but much of it is the business of medicine. I really think people are not happy with these big health care companies that have put business ahead of people. 

People are not big business. You have to take care of them one at a time. And that’s what this next generation of doctors needs to know, the secret to success. So many doctors today are not happy with the way things are. Now we have the opportunity to change it.

We want to be mentors and teachers, doctors who practice medicine to really create the next generation of great doctors.

People are excited to hear what is happening here. Our dean and the chief executive officer of the medical center have an amazing vision for what we can become. Their vision is to train compassionate yet scientifically expert healers of the highest order in the model medical school of the 21st century. 

It is the opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of this most noble vision.

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