June 20, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. - Ever since Ian Joseph was little, his mother, Kathryn Locatell, has inspired him to become a doctor. Locatell works as a physician specializing in internal medicine and is also an expert witness for malpractice in nursing homes. Ian's mother has been quite the inspiration and carries a solid foundation towards his motivation as a medical field worker.
He recalled his mom saying, "Hey Ian, how about you become a doctor and Sophie (his sister) become a lawyer?" Joseph never questioned her thought and it was immediately ingrained in his head. Since then, he's continued to pursue his goal of becoming a medical doctor. It was as simple as that.
Ian, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound senior-to-be from Placerville, is pursuing his dream of being a doctor while also being a standout offensive tackle for the Aggie football team. He's tasked with guarding the blind side of the quarterback on passing places while opening holes for the running backs to run through.
As of today, Ian is in his fourth year and is still going strong with his anthropology major. Although it's a rather interesting major choice, what directed him towards this instead of the typical pre-medicine majors such as biology or neurology, physiology, and behavior (NPB)?
"Personally, I'm interested in more than just science. I wanted to take more classes and know more. I'm one of those weird people who like both science and writing," he said. His search for a major that would satisfy his interests began with a sociology class. Although he enjoyed the subject matter, he thought it was "too distant because it reminded [me] of looking at people under a microscope." Ian then enrolled in an anthropology class and found that to be a perfect match.
"It was exactly like sociology, except you learn it from an ethnographic perspective. You get to go into a culture of interest and learn how their culture works from someone who grew up there," he said. Ian thinks his major is useful for his medical future because it keeps aware of different cultures. More specifically, it'll help him relate to patients or other medical workers who operate differently due to their cultural practices.
Despite being concerned what path he needs to take after graduating from UC Davis, Ian has no doubt that he'll achieve his ultimate goal of becoming a doctor. He's also keeping an open mind as to what he wants to specialize in. He feels as though he'll be able to make a decision during medical school, after working through several rotations in different departments.
As of now, Ian currently interns in the emergency room at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
"Seeing it first hand, the ER is not as glamorous as TV shows make it," he said."At the same time, I thought I could get used to this place because I felt good about watching doctors operate on patients. It's not just one doctor doing everything, it's people working together as a team. It solidified my belief that becoming a doctor is what I am meant to do." Ian's reasoning to why he wants to become a doctor is very genuine. He's not one whose immediate response is "because I'll get paid a lot of money." Although a true deserving bonus, Ian ultimately wants to positively impact people's lives. He's captivated by people, in general, in addition to the science behind the human body. Even more so, he carries great insight towards relationships as a future doctor.
"I think that I would be a great doctor in terms of giving care to people. I love people so much and building relationships," he said. "I also think that it's important that doctors stop treating patients as those who are fixed and put on their ways. That's how it is nowadays; you stick a pill in their mouth and send them on their way."Ian's current view on the doctor-patient relationship is that it is one-sided. He disagrees with this standard because it lacks passion and it goes against his values, which ultimately is to create a positive kinship.
Ian continues his practice towards teamwork and building relationships as one of the noted leaders on the football team. All of which will help him create an even better base going into medical school and life as a doctor.
Joseph had the opportunity to talk to several doctors, including his mother, about teamwork in the medical field. He explained that during in his mother's career, doctors were geared more toward a "lone wolf" type of practice. She learned by helping and diagnosing patients on her own. However, he's now learned they're teaching and emphasizing collaboration, teamwork, and using resources in order to help others.
Ian said his sport and his future career have a lot in common. "Football is such a unique sport in that you need to have every single person on the field doing their job, near perfectly, in order for something good to happen," he said. "It's something like that that's prepared me, and places me above someone who did not play a sport in college. It's something you learn, not necessarily something you can be told."
Ian found even more of a connection with his position on the offensive line.
"Being left tackle, it's very interesting because you still rely on four other (linemen) in order to achieve your goals. At the same time, you find yourself on an island one-on-one- with someone, more-o than the other positions. So it's prepared me to be collaborative and rely on people, but also rely on myself if I need to. It's a perfect combination for me in becoming a doctor."
The foundation he carries from his athletic, academic, and medical intern experience will continue to clear his path in order to make that jump towards pursuing medical school and his future career as a doctor.
The next step after college, he mentioned, would either be graduate school or medical school. Regardless of the route he decides to take, his high passion towards the medical field will continue his drive to thrive.