A letter from Dr. Swartz: Interns and surgery

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In this letter from Dr. Swartz, he discusses his career pathway. Providers at Tri-County Health Care are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings on topical news and happening around the health system.

Reflecting on a special visit

We had the pleasure of hosting several student interns at Tri-County Health Care throughout July. It’s always encouraging to meet young people interested in a profession that puts empathy first. We even had the chance to introduce these students to some of the things we do to prepare for surgery. Their enthusiasm for our work was very refreshing.

I believe experiences like this go beyond just being a fun excursion. They shape a person and guide them to their true calling. I’ve been thinking about my work and contemplating on why I became a surgeon. I’ve always been a very detail-orientated person that isn’t afraid to investigate the fine details of a problem. However, it does take more than an analytical brain to be a successful surgeon. As I stated earlier, empathy must come first. To be an effective surgeon, you have to treat everyone on your operating table as if they were family. Their life is in your hands, and they trust you. If any of the students that pass through our department go on to become surgeons, please don’t abuse that trust.

Their life is in your hands

In this letter from Dr. Swartz he discusses the importance of empathy.

Travis Swartz, DO

When a person heads to surgery, they are likely experiencing a hurricane of emotions. Also, people forget the human element of this work and look at everything as a procedure. Remember the person behind the procedure, their fears, and their loved ones. Being a surgeon is more than just stainless steel and scalpels.

I would like to thank all of the students that made their way through Tri-County Health Care. I hope shadowing our staff gave you some direction in your future endeavors.

All the best,

Travis Swartz, DO

Tri-County Health Care

Tri-County Health Care would like to offer thanks for this wonderful letter from Dr. Swartz. We hope his insight may guide young people in their future endeavors. Tri-County Health Care routinely welcomes student interns to tour our respective facilities while gaining valuable insight from our collection of medical, clerical, business, and marketing professionals.  In conclusion, if you are interested in interning or shadowing at Tri-County Health Care, please check our careers page.


Embarrassment and colonoscopies

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Every year thousands of people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Our medical staff and surgeons have some of the most incredible tools that exist. However, no amount of tools will ever replace the early detection of cancer. Being able to catch cancer before it spreads opens up so many options. The problem is, early detection requires an active approach. They have to want to beat cancer before it starts. This kind of preemptive thinking is hard for some people. We get so busy with our lives, the last thing we want to think about is cancer. That needs to change. We need to change our perception of the procedure, so embarrassment and colonoscopies don’t go hand and hand.

Normalizing colonoscopies

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. This is a troubling statistic because it shouldn’t be so prevalent. We understand this disease and have ways to deal with it, but we still need to participate. When a person gets to 45, a colonoscopy should be an expected procedure. It should provoke little to no anxiety. It’s just another check-up with a bit more homework.

We’ve seen it all

I observe a lot of disgust for the procedure. I know the preparation for a colonoscopy is unpleasant, usually resulting in many trips to the bathroom, but it isn’t as bad as you think. What really concerns me is how embarrassed some people are about safeguarding their own health. Embarrassment and colonoscopies seem to be fused, especially in our community. In a hospital, medical staff is trained to confidentially treat a massive range of patients from every walk of life. I guarantee you, the surgeon performing your colonoscopy has seen it all. There is no need to be afraid or embarrassed.

Take a minute to watch this informative video. This video explains the procedure and its benefits.

Take action

If you find yourself avoiding a colonoscopy out of fear or embarrassment, ask yourself, is cancer embarrassing? Sometimes we have to do things that make us uncomfortable and a colonoscopy is definitely on that list but so is cancer. I want people to make the right choice! Be an active participant in your health. If you’re staring down 45, don’t wait for your doctor to bring it up; just ask about getting a colonoscopy. For more information about colon cancer screening at Tri-County Health Care, click here. Call 218-631-3510 to schedule an appointment!

About the guest author: Travis Swartz, DO

Dr. Swartz has a long history of helping people overcome health challenges. His passion for people is evident in and out of the operating room. When he isn’t with patients, Dr. Swartz enjoys spending time with family or fitting in a remodeling project.