I had the pleasure of interviewing Jacob D. Steiger, M.D. is an accomplished, double board certified facial plastic surgeon whose background and credentials reflect his commitment to the highest standards of patient care, treatment innovation, and leadership within his specialty.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Since I was a little kid, I was always interested in working with my hands. Taking apart electronics and putting them back together. My father was a car mechanic and I used to go to work with him on Saturdays. One day someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I answered, “I want to be a mechanic like me dad!” My father wasn’t happy to hear this as he didn’t feel it was the right path for me. My pediatrician had always inspired me. At the age of 11 he taught me why we check the white blood cell counts to know if the body has an infection. Naturally I asked my father if fixing people was an acceptable career path. He smiled and said, of course. As I learned more about medicine, I was 100 percent sure I wanted to be a doctor and more specifically I knew I wanted to be a surgeon. I could change people’s lives with my hands.
How have your personal challenges informed your career path?
I think that I always strive to be the best at everything I do. I have an insatiable appetite to be better and do better. This has certainly affected personal relationships and activities in my life as I have dedicated myself to my profession. It is my biggest strength and also my biggest weakness.
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became a Doctor”
- When you choose to become a doctor, you are not choosing a job, you are choosing a way of life. A great doctor never stops worrying and never stops thinking about their patients. You have to be ok with total dedication.
- You must love what you do. It sounds cliché, but in order to excel as a surgeon you must eat, breathe, and sleep medicine. You can’t do this unless you love it. Or you will burn out otherwise.
- Working hard is not enough. Intelligence alone is not enough. Being passionate is not enough. Bring skilled is not enough. It takes a healthy combination of all these things in order to truly excel.
- Enjoy the journey. The road to medicine is challenging and rewarding. Every step of the way is exciting. From school to training to working in your practice.
- Be thankful for the opportunity to take care of people and for their confidence in you. It is a great honor to have people trust their wellbeing literally in your hands. Never forget that.
Social media and reality TV create a venue for people to share their personal stories. Do you think more transparency about your personal story can help or harm your field of work? Can you explain?
Certainly, I think it will help. So often social media and reality television glorify what we do. However, the road to where we are, is filled with sleepless nights, hard work and constant education. I think the public doesn’t ever see that to its real extent. It’s not as sexy as a nice car and a cool office.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant to your life?
Walt Disney said that all of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. I find this to be exceptionally true. I see people too often are afraid of failure. They give up too easily. One set back and they want to quit. This is dangerous and debilitating. The most successful people have had many setbacks. But they never quit. It takes courage to pursue your dreams.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
When we were children we were taught if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. In this day and age, we hear so much negativity around us. I wish people would focus on complimenting each other and this world on all the good in it. This will elevate everyone to be the best they can be. It will raise us all up above.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/facialplasticsurgery/
- Instagram: @SteigerFacialPlasticSurgery
- Twitter: @DrJacobSteiger
Originally published at medium.com