Becoming a Surgeon
To be a surgeon you need to have the personality of a surgeon. Surgeons have a strong will power, they are in the spotlight all the time. When you are doing surgery you have to control everything because you have the ultimate responsibility. It’s a high stress specialty and I enjoy that kind of situation.
I got a position in a training program at the VA Hospital in Des Moines. The hospital was related to the University of Iowa, so I had rotations with the University of Iowa surgery program. It was great because Betty and I really were able to stay in Des Moines and we really liked the city. The first few years of training were pretty good. But as I got more involved in my training, challenges developed and things got tough.
“My main goal was to get trained and certified”
It was kind of tough at the beginning, because sometimes you didn’t know if you were going to have a position the following year. I knew that if I worked hard then I was going to be able to graduate as a surgeon. My main goal was to get trained and certified. That was a long time ago, but I have good memories and some tough memories too. I was determined to finish my training and lucky to get a job offer in Des Moines. It was a very interesting time in our lives those first six or seven years. We didn’t have children, so Betty was able to put her efforts on her master’s degree and I was able to finish my training. But as soon as we finished, we got our first child.