Procedures and Pancakes

Since I have been shadowing a gastroenterologist this week, I wanted to title this blog post “Poop and Pancakes,” but after watching him perform multiple endoscopies and colonoscopies at The Endoscopy Center of Pensacola yesterday, I decided to go with Procedures instead. Of all the doctors I have shadowed, this one definitely speaks most highly of Navy experience. He spent twenty-two years in the Navy and in that time developed an expansive support system both for himself and his beautiful family of five. Some of those bonds were formed out of necessity, as he completed his exhaustive residency training and a number of deployments during his active duty career. He even stated that the most stressful aspect of his time in the Navy was knowing that he might have to leave his family at any point in time. He retired from the Navy two years ago and is now working for a gastroenterologist group in Pensacola, Florida. While he no longer faces the fear of deploying overseas or uprooting his family to a new location, he has had a hard time embracing medicine as a business now that he is “on the outside.” In seeing twenty patients a day, he still really enjoys taking time to sit down and get to know his patients which leads to an altered schedule and longer hours. Although the pace of his current practice can be rather exhausting, he works hard to support his kids who I had the pleasure of making pancakes with this weekend. He urged me to consider very real factors when deciding to pursue military medicine, such as the lack of autonomy and the fact that we are a country at war, but as he dropped me off at the airport this morning, he reassured me that wherever I work I will have to work hard to achieve my accomplishments, whether I choose to practice medicine in the military or civilian world.


View of the Big Lagoon from Sugar Island, Pensacola


  1. Hi Kathy!

    Your Monroe project topic is a very interesting one especially since I have SO many pre-med friends. I was just wondering how did each of the doctors you interviewed end up where they are now (since they are all in such drastically different locations!)? Additionally, did you feel like their work environments differed because of their geological locations? Did you think that this impacted whether or not they were more or less satisfied working in non-military medicine? Additionally, I believe all of the doctors you interviewed were male. Did this concern you at all as a female considering the job?

    Good luck with the rest of your project!