Interview with Dr. Isang (@dr.isang)


Interview with Dr. Isang (@dr.isang)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I sustained a gruesome injury at the young age of 17 and knew that being successful in sport was not going to be a possibility for me anymore. Thankfully, I had grown up with parents that wanted me to always think of career paths other than sports. From this, ive always known that if I couldn’t play sports, I wanted to be a doctor. Initially, I considered orthopedics and pediatrics. However, it became evident in medical school that internal medicine was the right path for me. It provided a lot of opportunities within the field itself and had the added benefits of subspecialty training. Interestingly, it wasn’t until my final year of training in internal medicine that I was exposed to the beauty of cardiology. From there, I knew that I would do everything and anything to achieve that goal. It took me several attempts until I was blessed with the opportunity in 2019. It has been a rigorous three years of training. However, I can say that is worth it.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
We rely on our EKG, blood tests, and different imaging modalities to provide us with data to help make our final assessment and plan. One interesting patient I can recall had normal results on everything. But his story was concerning enough for me to talk with our team about further investigation. We subsequently did a left heart catheterization. This is an invasive procedure that looks for blockages in the major arteries of the heart. The test proved that not only did he have blockages, but he also needed bypass surgery. I always remember this story because it reminds me that these tests that we utilize are not 100% perfect. Second, there is no test that can ever outperform a good history and physical.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
One of the biggest questions my Attending ever asked me was, “Emmanuel, what do you do for fun?” I honestly had a hard time answering that question. I realized that I had spent many years trying to become a doctor and now a cardiologist. I never made time for any hobbies. I believe that finding hobbies is one of the best things to prevent burning out. It is also essential to have someone to share your experiences with. Whether it’s a significant other, relative, or psychologist. I’ve found that, over the years, I would internalize a lot of my thoughts and feelings. Now that I’m married with kids talking about all of my worries, dreams, and anything has become a part of my daily life. I believe that this has made a huge difference.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Absolutely. My first mentor. Dr. Inem Newsome. I remember being denied by 20+ medical schools and on the brink of giving up. I called my parents about this, and they referred me to talk to Dr. Newsome. She, at that time, was in her 3rd year of medical school in the Caribbean. I asked her one question. “If you could do this all over again, would you?” She replied, “absolutely.” I later applied to Ross University School of Medicine and was accepted. If it was not for her, I’m not sure where I would be right now.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Education. By being a physician, I can help who I see daily. Sometimes it’s 15-20 patients. For others, it can be as little as 5-10. With the explosion of social media, I’ve tried my best to use my platform for medical education regarding common topics we see in the world of cardiology and general medicine. I have made a few posts and held a few “lives” to further provide education and understanding. I believe that I have been able to reach a lot of people I would not have had the opportunity to.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
I truly care for people and always try to treat people how I would want to be treated. The quote to match this is, ” Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.” The Golden Rule. During my first year of Internal Medicine residency, I was required to have surgery for a bone infection. It was delayed for a few months, however. During that time, I worked with an amazing staff of nurses and techs for my inpatient rotations. After finally having my surgery, I was placed on the same floor, with the same staff caring for me. It was truly a blessing in disguise.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My main platforms are Instagram and TikTok, which both have the same handle, “Dr.Isang.” My future project is to start a youtube channel with the same handle.
Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?
My name is Dr. Emmanuel Isang, and I am a 3rd-year cardiology fellow. I am in my final year of training and will be completing my fellowship in June 2022 with the plans of working as a General Cardiologist.