What it’s like to ‘Wear the White Coat’

Kevin Lundy

Kevin Lundy (LL '10) director government affairs, Yum! Brands, Inc.

My knowledge of the medical community is limited to my annual physicals and medical care of my family. Beyond that, I know little about what goes into the success of the medical profession. Was there really more than a check-up, prescribing medicine and chicken soup?! I have since learned that the answer is an unequivocal YES!

Recently I had the honor of completing one of the community’s most humbling and rewarding programs, the Greater Louisville Medical Society’s “Wear the White Coat” program. This program allows community leaders to experience the practice of medicine through a partnership with a Society physician member. This eye-opening experience helped me realize not only the tremendous contributions physicians make in the community, but also the challenges they face in trying to provide immediate care to their patients.

The three part program included an introductory breakfast with interactive viewing of a heart surgery, a shadowing day with my physician partner and a closing dinner with dialogue on the approaches for achieving a healthier community.

The heart surgery viewing was very impactful to me, being the closest I had ever gotten to such a procedure. Visually seeing the operation on TV helped prepare me for my day observing in the operating room.

My shadowing day was like nothing I have experienced before. I was fortunate to shadow a wonderful general surgeon who had a packed day of surgeries planned. I spent nearly six hours in the hospital operating room, viewing six different surgeries, all while not passing out! While it was educational to learn and see where various organs are located in the human body, the most impressive part of surgery was seeing the teamwork and interaction between the tending physicians. Each doctor depended on the others, ensuring the correct dosage of patient anesthesia, making each incision correctly and accounting for each medical instrument post-surgery. Everyone needed to be one step ahead of the other in order to preserve the patient’s well-being.

We owe a great deal of gratitude and appreciation to the medical community. Their dedication to patient health and ensuring a healthier community is vital to our collective success. I not only challenge others to take personal responsibility for their own health, but to participate in GLMS’ ongoing discussion on how to improve the well-being of the Louisville community.