Residency: First year Ophthalmology resident (PGY-2) at Baylor Scott and White in Temple, TX
What is your fondest memory of your time at UTMSH?
My two fondest memories from my time at UTMSH were Retreat 2011 and Graduation Day. Our theme was Disney, and I will never forget standing in the middle of the celebration on the last night of Retreat watching both classes dance and play in their Disney costumes. We all left Retreat excited to get back and start our respective years in pursuit of our dreams to become doctors. My other favorite memory was seeing those dreams become reality on graduation day 2014. After four challenging years together, my class and I walked the stage and began our careers as physicians. We also had the opportunity to present a scholarship to the school in honor of a beloved friend and classmate who had passed away during her time as a medical student. Presenting the “Natalie Kjar Memorial Scholarship” to her father at our graduation was an incredible moment for all of us. It was a wonderful day and marked the end of an incredible journey together for me and my class.
What are your hopes for today’s UTMSH students?
My hopes for today’s students are simply to live with purpose. The grades and class ranking are important, but those things will quickly fade. But the relationships you have with one another and the service you provide for your patients and community will last a lifetime. That heart is what made my time at UTMSH so special, and I hope that the current students live and experience that same culture.
What inspires you?
The men and women who have and are actively serving in our country’s military always inspire me. Having the strength and courage to lay down your life in defense of our freedom is so inspiring, and I strive to live with that same sense of service and commitment in the way I interact with my family, patients, and friends.
Who is your mentor?
I have been blessed with many great mentors and role models. But the mentor whom I have been around the longest is my dad. Daniel Gold is a man of great passion and conviction, and he was the one who initially exposed me to medicine. He is an ophthalmologist in East Texas and started taking me on international mission trips when I was in 8th grade. These trips were life-changing for me, and watching his life and the purpose with which he lives has inspired me to continue that legacy of love. He is my hero and greatest mentor.
What’s a day on the job like?
I am currently a first year ophthalmology resident (PGY-2) at Baylor Scott and White in Temple, TX. Here is an average day at the eye center.
- 7:00 – 8:00 Morning Lecture
- 8:00 – 12:00 Morning clinic or OR
- 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch (if the morning work is completed)
- 1:00 – 5:00 Afternoon clinic or OR
- 5:00 – 8:00 Head home to play with my daughter and help my wife around the house
- 8:00 – 8:30 Put my daughter to bed (and yes, it is at least a 30 minute process!)
- 8:30 – ? Study for our ophthalmology boards
We are also heavily involved in our church and have some wonderful friends around Temple with whom we try to spend time. So some nights we get to have meetings or friends over for dinner.
What skill is most vital to your job?
While surgical and clinical skills are vitally important, I think the most important aspect of my job is relationships and trust with my patients. When my patients trust me, they are more willing to listen to and remain compliant with the treatment plan. This is crucial when managing our day-to-day ophthalmic issues.
What’s on your iPod?
Unfortunately, most of my music today revolves around KidsBop and Taylor Swift. It is amazing the love my almost two-year-old daughter has for T-Swift!
What is the one thing you can’t live without and why?
My family. My beautiful wife of 5 years is my best friend, and I could not imagine life without her by my side. Our daughter is also such a joy to have and makes our lives so much fun (and very adventurous!)
What fulfills you most?
My Christian faith! This serves as the foundation of my life and allows me to live out the other aspects of my life with great purpose and passion.
Who would you most like to meet (alive or deceased) and why?
I would love to meet Tim Kerlee. He was the 12th student who passed away in the Texas A&M bonfire tragedy of 1999. As a freshman, he became trapped in the fallen logs and ultimately died after being rushed to the hospital. But before he let the rescue team remove him from the stack, he helped guide them in rescuing multiple other students who were stuck in piles beneath him. He is a hero of mine, and I would love to hear his story from that night in his own words.
What has been your greatest adventure?
I think my greatest adventure came during my first international mission trip in 8th grade. My dad took me to Lebanon where he was performing cataract surgeries. Traveling abroad to a new country was an amazing experience, but seeing the blind receive back their sight was life-changing. I will never forget watching a man open his eyes after surgery when he realized he could once again see the face of his wife and his children. It was a powerful experience and one that has shaped my life ever since.
What are your three all-time favorite books/magazines/blogs for leisure reading?
- “Unbroken” – Laura Hillenbrand
- “Chronicles of Narnia” Series – C. S. Lewis
- “Divergent” Trilogy – Veronica Roth
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Our most recent vacation spot was McKinney, TX. Their historic downtown square was a perfect get-away spot and provided a wonderful atmosphere to spend some quality time with my wife.
Where is your favorite lunch spot?
My current favorite lunch spot is Megg’s Café in Temple, TX. But my favorite lunch/dinner spot in Houston will always be the Raven Grill.
What is your favorite word?
My favorite words are hearing my wife say “Love you Dada” and my daughter repeat with “Wuv wu Dada.” Melts my heart every time!