What do u want to be when u grow up?! podcast

"Dr. James Fann - Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Stanford University!"

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Joining us today on What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up, is a cardiothoracic surgeon by the name of Dr. James Fann. Dr. Fann works at the Stanford University Medical Center. He attended Northwestern for both his college and medical school degrees, and then he did his residency and fellowship at Stanford. Dr. Fann is part of an amazing summer internship at Stanford called The Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills Summer Internship (CSSSI), which allows high school students to gain hands-on experience and insights from distinguished doctors and surgeons about their daily work, human anatomy, and their professional lives. Join the conversation as we hear what being a cardiothoracic surgeon is all about, how Dr. Fann got interested in medicine, and why he believes the internal drive and digging deep into your why is crucial. Listen in to hear more about the CSSSI program and his advice to those interested in pursuing a similar career. This is a jam-packed episode, so don’t miss out. Start listening now!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Dr. Fann tells us more about himself and what he does as a cardiothoracic surgeon.
  • He defines the role of a cardiothoracic surgeon and the type of work he does.
  • The difference between adult cardiac surgery and congenital heart surgery.
  • How experience steered him into the field of medicine and led him to specialize as an adult cardiothoracic surgeon.
  • Dr. Fann shares his thoughts on the internal drive: why we are the way we are and what motivates us.
  • What he was like as a younger student, his work ethic, and taking advantage of opportunities.
  • He talks about the different internships he participated in during high school.
  • His favorite subjects in school.
  • We talk about the exploratory process in college: How do you determine what to major in, at this point in your life (high school)?
  • Where he went to college and what he majored in.
  • His opinion on the accelerated program at Northwestern: a combined program of a two-year undergrad and four years of medical school.
  • An important question to ask yourself before deciding on what to do (after high school). 
  • Where he grew up and why he decided to go to Northwestern.
  • The prerequisites, in terms of classes and tests, to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.
  • What convinced Dr. Fann that becoming a surgeon was what he could and wanted to be.
  • He shares his experience of medical school and residency.
  • Dr. Fann recounts his first time seeing a human heart and the inside of the human body.
  • How the flow (of things) helps make decisions. 
  • He talks about how he stays focused and awake during long operations.
  • We hear about some of the longest operations he’s been a part of and the frequency of them. 
  • Did he have to take the MCAT?
  • Dr. Fan talks about the stress levels of his job and what it means to be on-call. 
  • The most common cases he sees and the diagnosis and treatment that follows.
  • A typical day as a cardiothoracic surgeon and more about his job specifics. 
  • His favorite aspect of working as a cardiothoracic surgeon. 
  • How he got into CSSSI (the internship).
  • A quick summary of what CSSSI is. 
  • Advice to those interested in pursuing a similar career path as Dr. Fann.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Dr. James Fann

Stanford University

The Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills Summer Internship

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