I found myself surprisingly nervous the morning of the interview. Why, I wondered? I have lectured to large groups of people for years. I knew my material. Perhaps because it was more about me this time, and not medical information.
I wrote an article about my first year of retirement, which was published on KevinMD. I was pleased Kevin asked to interview and record me for a podcast. Sure! It was an interesting process. He sent me a list of general questions to be ready to answer. The expected stuff: my background, how my article came together, what am I curious about right now, take-home messages for the audience, etc. I wrote a few notes for myself, thought about the answers for a week or so, watched a few other KevinMD podcasts, and felt ready.
I had to laugh about deciding what to wear. Should I look serious and professional? The article was about retirement, so I went with a casual, comfortable retirement look. What background did I want? Since I’m all about retirement, should I be outside on the patio? Poolside? I’m a writer, so I decided the library, with lots of books in the background, was appropriate. But I did have to smile as I thought about the recent articles in the news, analyzing the books in the background of Zoom newscasts by important people. I was pretty sure nobody was going to care about what books were behind me. (Hint: Mark Twain, O. Henry, Beryl Markham, Osler, Lisa Sanders, tons of biographies)
iPhone with ring light carefully positioned, I felt ready. Kevin was low-key and comfortable. Other than a few technical glitches, it was easy and fun. And of course, like all lectures and interviews in my life, once I started the nervousness fell away. I got to talk about the article itself (see it on my home page), COVID and pediatricians, what I loved about my career as a pediatric hospitalist, retirement, and best of all, my writing about medical mysteries. The interview lasted a little over 20 minutes; he later edited it to 15.
What did I learn? It was fun, and if you get an opportunity to do the same, take it!
What surprised me? Being asked what advice I have for new doctors just starting out. My response? You don’t have to know everything. Medicine is a team sport, and we can always get the help of others. It took me a while to learn that as a new doctor. Also, the decisions we make at the beginning of our careers are temporary. I ended up making several changes during my 39-year career and had interesting jobs I never could have envisioned at the start of my career. So, nobody should feel committed to the first job they take.
Would I do it again? Absolutely!
Watch the video here.