Interview with Lane Meyer-Reed

Major

Natural Science

Current Position

Family Physician

GC Graduation Year

1987


Why or how did you choose your field? Were there specific experiences that influenced you?

I chose medicine after a time of thinking I would go into engineering or aviation. I enjoyed science in high school and college and felt that made sense, but when I started getting more into engineering, it felt too mechanical for me and there was not enough “people-time” to fit my personality. I also had a number great role models growing up and encouraged my thinking about medicine.

However, the experience that influenced me the most and sealed my decision was my voluntary service experience in Washington DC at Columbia Road Health Services. It was there that I learned how broad the medical field really is and also how relevant health care is in our world today.

What’s exciting about your job or field?

Every day is new and challenging. I walked out of an exam room the just the other day after a particularly bizarre patient encounter and told my nurse, “This is the most interesting job in the world!” While medicine can be very challenging and some days quite fatiguing after being up all night delivering a baby or spending a long day multitasking and making numerous decisions, at the end of the day, it is extremely gratifying–to be a part of people’s lives from birth to death and walk with them through it all–it’s truly a privilege.

What has been a challenge in your career journey?

I think dealing with the medical education structure and the traditional treatment of subordinates is unfortunate. While there has been a lot of energy put into improving the training regimen, there still are people more interested in themselves and pushing other people down in their “climb to the top.”

Looking back, would you do anything differently?

I would not do anything drastically different than I did, but I would counsel anyone considering the medical field to maintain a strong sense of self and to maintain connections to other activities outside of training and education to help keep a healthy perspective during the years in medical school and residency. I think voluntary service really helped me to do this.

How did your liberal arts education assist you in your journey?

My liberal arts education fit very nicely into my decision to become a family physician. Family Medicine is sort of the “liberal arts” piece of medicine. While specialists are very important in health care, primary care is of utmost importance and requires someone willing maintain a broad focus as is necessary in a liberal arts education. The many varied and valuable experiences I had while at Hesston and Goshen Colleges as well as my VS experience really formed who I am as a physician.

What advice would you give to a young person just starting out?

I think the best advice I received was from my mom when I was struggling with my decision to go ahead with testing and applying for medical school. She asked one question and that was, “do you have to take the MCAT’s this year?” It hadn’t really occurred to me at the time that one wouldn’t just forge ahead on the path that most students take–4 years college, 4 years medical school, residency… After considering her question, I chose instead to wait a year to enter medical school and do VS, which turned out to be one of the most formative years in my medical training! So I would highly recommend thinking outside the box a little bit and do what is right for you and not just “what everyone else is doing.”