Thomas Jefferson Crane
Expirience 30 years
— How and when did you decide to become a doctor?
I was influenced by my own father, a excellent general dentist, who was greatly loved by his patients because he took interest in them as people. At age 17, motivated by my growing faith in God and a genuine love for science, I decided to try to impact human suffering and misery through the profession of medicine.
— Why did you choose your particular specialty (internal medicine)?
General internal medicine brings the world of adult suffering and all kinds of acute and chronic problems to my doorstep. I like the challenge and the unpredictable nature of each new, undiagnosed case, calling in the needed specialists and then coordinating the team to bring the best medical decisions forward. Most importantly my specialty affords an opportunity to give people hope, even in the midst of suffering and loss.
—In your opinion, what is the most important work of a doctor (in your specialty)?
The patient’s needs must always come first, and I must advocate for my patients above everything else. Humility, caring and empathy are essential to being a good doctor. A good internist understands that his ability to investigate his patient’s illness comes from a lifetime of continual learning; a caring specialist is worthless if he does not know his stuff.
— Which do you enjoy most, treating or teaching?
You know, I am a teacher at heart, and one of the most important parts of treating disease is coming alongside the patient and teaching them how to understand and manage their disease. I love learning - from my books, my colleagues and my patients, and I love sharing that knowledge with others who not only also want to learn, but who can also teach me.
—If it were possible to turn back time, would you have chosen a different profession?
No, I love medicine and being a doctor, and I have no regrets, because it is a perfect combination of applied science and the intangible mind, soul and spirit within all people. While aeronautical engineering could have satisfied me, I know that medicine was the best choice for me. I am just extremely grateful for the privilege and opportunity to have chosen my profession in life.
—What in the medical profession do you enjoy most of all?
Above all, I enjoy looking into the eyes of my struggling patients and helping them regain some hope, some control and some direction in life. I enjoy earning and maintaining trust in the professional doctor-patient relationship, and helping protect that trust from the artificial pressures and priorities of money, insurance companies and political correctness of our day.
—How do you like to relax after work? Do you have any hobbies?
I love my one and only wife, and my six dear children who are growing up very well. Beyond spending time with my family and our dogs, I love building and flying model airplanes and I enjoy classical guitar. I enjoy reading the Bible. I enjoy nature, hiking, fishing, and primitive camping.
—What, in your opinion, is a “good doctor?”
A good doctor is a well-trained professional who takes time to really listen to his patient’s concerns, who really cares about what his patient cares about, and then uses his skills ….. empowers and assists his patient to do the right thing for the right reasons regarding his problem.
—Is scientific investigation important in your work?
Yes, science is the core of the doctor’s work, and forms the basis of how I approach clinical treatment decisions. Evidence-based medical treatment is important to all of us, and we must stay connected with that. However, my personal strengths fall more on the side of clinical work than investigative research, so I am glad for the opportunity to apply the results and fruit of my investigative colleagues’ hard work.
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