Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Revitalize Medical Group, Dr. Tara Scott relives some of her most memorable moments in medicine and shares how her experiences have shaped her. With all that comes with being in the medical field, Dr. Tara Scott always remembers to take the time to listen to not only her patients but also herself.
Thank you so much for your time! I know you are a very busy person. Can you tell us a story about what early experiences brought you to choosing a career in the medical profession?
For some reason I always wanted to be a doctor. No one in my family was one, so my only exposure was to my pediatrician. No one in my family had any kind of medical issues, so we only went in for well checks. I guess you could say I felt a calling!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you in your career as a doctor?
As an OB/GYN, I have been privileged to witness so many miracles! Birth alone is a miracle, and to be a part of that amazing moment with your patients was indescribable. It wasn’t always happy though. A few years back one of my closest friends went into preterm labor at only 5 ½ months. We tried everything to stop labor, but she still progressed. When it was apparent that she was going to deliver soon, I ran back to the operating room to make sure the neonatal team was ready for the preemie baby. The patient ended up delivering the baby in her bed while they were pushing her back to the operating room! While that was actually very stressful and traumatic, it was a miracle that baby Faith is alive and well now after such a rough start.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting out on your career? What lesson did you learn from that?
One funny story was when I was on a surgical mission trip in the Dominican Republic. Women were lined up for hours when they found out there was an OB/GYN coming, and I operated all day long. Being half Puerto Rican, I could understand them speaking Spanish, but since I was speaking “Spanglish” they needed a translator to understand what I was saying. By the end of the week, after speaking Spanish all day long and reading medical reports in Spanish, I grew more confident and stated that I didn’t need the translator to accompany me on morning post op rounds. I examined one patient, asking her how she slept, how her pain was, if she ate breakfast, and if she had yet passed gas. To my surprise, the patient and the family burst out laughing. Apparently, I had asked if I had passed gas! I guess the lesson is never to become overconfident!
To #DareToCare means to survive and thrive in today’s medical world. How do you take care of yourself? What’s the routine you must do to thrive every day?
I spent MANY years not taking good care of myself when my kids were young, and I was busy with private practice. As I learned more about Integrative medicine and the damage that prolonged stress can cause on your health, I began to make self-care a priority. Now, I make sure I exercise (I run 2-3 days/ week, do yoga once a week and go to the gym to lift weights 1-2 times/ week). I eat a mostly plant-based diet, I prioritize sleep, and practice meditation daily.
I write a series of letters to my Goddaughter in my latest book. In that same vein, what are 5 things you would tell your younger self?
I would tell myself to not worry about the details and think about the big picture and the long game. I went overboard as a mother wanting everything to be perfect and should have concentrated more on the relationship. Thankfully I have a great relationship with my kids! I also would go easy on myself. I am still somewhat of a perfectionist and very self-critical. You can’t please everyone every single day!
How can medical professionals reclaim heart-based healing amid pandemic, political, and other pressures?
I think for those of us in the medical profession, we really need to treat the patient as a person, not the number. We need to give patients time to tell their story and ask their questions. And they have a right to have an opinion about their health. Many patients are very anxious about the state of the world today. Our healthcare is inundated with sick people. So those that aren’t sick but aren’t healthy often fall through the cracks.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your work as a healthcare professional? Can you explain?
Years ago, I read Bernie Segals “Love, Medicine and Miracles”. That made a big impact on me. It does address that we need to address the emotional and spiritual aspects of their health journey as well. And it also instilled a sense of hope. You DON’T have to be your prognosis or diagnosis. Mindset does matter!
Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence in the healthcare community. If you could inspire other doctors and nurses to bring change to affect the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Said another way, what difference do you see needs to be made for our collective future?
I think the biggest thing is to remember to be kind and listen. Doctors are burnt out and busy. Taking that extra time to make eye contact, listen to the patient and validate them will go a long way.
How can people connect with you?
YouTube: Tara Scott MD