BY HECTOR KREBBER
When I started the conversation with Dr. Adam Hart this week, he had just finished working with his accountant. I asked if he had spent enough time with his baby during the day. “ No I haven’t, but fortunately, My wife and nanny have been taking care of him,” he said, “I have to work really hard to make sure that he’s going to have a good education.
Hart, who is a good friend of mine, is one of the best eye doctors in Austin with many years of experience in which he has spent most of his life dedicated to study and work in the medical field.
Like many other doctors in the USA, he didn’t have an easy path while he was trying to accomplish his goal to become a doctor. He had to study for many hours and sacrifice things that other young guys never had to do, and without mentioning the amount of money that was involved. “Even though I had and I still have to renounce certain things, I fully enjoy and love my career.”
Hart has an important eye clinic in North Austin, called “Longhorn Eye Care,” that started to operate one year ago, but despite its short time in the health-care market, the clinic has been gaining a good reputation to the point that the pandemic has not affected it as much economically.
spoke with Adam about his personal life as a doctor and why its so hard to be one of them.
The following is an edited transcript.
Q. At what age did you decide that you wanted to be a doctor?
A: When I was 20 or 21 years old.
Q. Was it a tough decision?
A: It wasn’t a tough decision. I think that about 30 or 40% or the people in my class wanted to study medical engineering, but instead, they ended up applying to medical school. That was something that counsel talked a lot about because we were doing a lot of lab studies. We used diabetes machines, sensors that measure how much oxygen is in your blood. And actually, I applied for an engineering job but wasn’t that excited, so I decided to apply to Med School.
Q. Wre you interested in another career?
A: Yeah, I probably would have gotten a job as a Medical engineer.
Q. Where could you have gotten a job as an ME?
A: I guess that an example would be like companies that design pacemakers or a company that designs dialysis machines. Out there are many companies that design multiples devices used in surgery.
Q. What university did you study at?
A: I guess the hardest thing was trying was to stay disciplined
Q. What did your parent thing when you told them you wanted to be a doctor?
A: They were pretty happy to hear that. It was a long road to take. They were just discounting how much is involved in getting through that profession.
Q. For how many years did you have to study to get a bachelor’s degree?
A: 4 years of college, I did a year of research after under-grad, 4 years of Med school and then 4 years of residency, for a total of 12 years.
Q. Is someone in your family a doctor?
A: My wife is a doctor with a specialty in dermatology
Q. Did you fail any subject?
Q. What was the most difficult subject that you had to take ?
A: Fluid mechanics, it is a high level calculus subject.
Q. Did you pass it?
A: Yes, I did pass it.
Q. So, you are good at math?
A: I used to be, not any more. (We both laughed.)
Q. Did you have to do an internship?
A: Yeah, so, after you did four years of medical school, you have to take a serial of exams called USMLE. Then, you can get your medical license, but in order to practice in a specialty, you need to have done the residency.
Q. Does the residency have to be done in a hospital?
A: It’s always in a hospital.
Q. Did you have to study a lot while doing the residency?
A: There is not as much study necessary to do other than making sure that you know what you’re
doing with your patients.
Q. How was your experience as an internist?
A: I didn’t like it at all. I think is an unnecessary year that is part of the training process. But it hasn’t gone away because it’s just a way the system has underpaid doctors working for the hospitals.
Q. Why didn’t you like it?
A: You can quickly get tired because you are kind of stuck there.
Q. Were you supervised by some else during the residency?
A: Yes, you are supervised by an attending physician. They look over your job.
Q. When did you start going to hospitals to practice?
A: You start the second two years.
Q. Did get impressed when you saw a corpse for the first time?
A: No, I wasn’t. I didn’t like the smell. It’s a nasty environment. It smells bad, and you have to wear all the ptotective equipment. I didn’t like it.
Q. When and where did get your first job?
A: I got my first job two weeks after I finished my residency in Northwest Indiana.
Q. How was that new experience?
A: It was a good experience. The only bad thing about that job was that I had to drive around many
offices so I had to do a lot of driving.
Q. Where do you actually work?
A: I work separately in my own eye clinic
Q. Is it true that doctors don’t have enough social life?
A: Well, right now nobody has a social life. It is hard when you are in your training program, and it also depends on your speciality. In my case, I had a lot of free time.
Q. What do you think about the Covid-19 situation?
A: We are going to probably be in some form of quarantine lockdown until we have the vaccine. I think we probably won’t have it until early next year.
Q. Is the USA government taking good care of the virus?
A: I don’t know if you want me to get into that question.
Q. Should we all stay lockdown and for how long?
A: In my opinion, the dedication to stay in lockdown should be made by local governments, and not by the federal government