Personal Experience Made #ThankAPharmacist Contest Winner a Better Pharmacist

JANUARY 15, 2019
Meet our #ThankAPharmacist Twitter Contest Winner, Lee Golden, PharmD. Dr. Golden was nominated by his colleagues at TwelveStone Health in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where he works as the Chief Clinical Officer, with a passion for home infusion pharmacy. 

Dr. Golden’s colleagues recognized his dedication to pharmacy when he faced personal health challenges in 2016, and he used those experiences to become a better health care provider. 

His nominator wrote, “Lee is a walking miracle, having survived a mysterious and life-threatening illness that found him using every service TwelveStone provided. From pharmacist to patient to paralysis. Through it all, he continues to tackle everything he does with the same vigor and commitment. Lee believes that hard work is a key component for recovery, but you can't make your own miracles. For that, he has his faith, and the support of his family, friend, and the team at TwelveStone.” 

In this first clip from our interview with Dr. Golden, he shares his story and how becoming the patient changed his perspective on treating patients. 



Lee Golden, PharmD: "The health scare that I had just completely came out of nowhere. I would say that it really ties in well with my profession, my walk prior to that occurring. It’s really been a huge benefit from the perspective of seeing things from the patient’s point of view, as opposed to just a clinician. As a clinician, you can be very empathetic I think, and I feel like I was prior to this illness, but you just can’t have a full appreciation for what the person’s going through each every day with a serious illness like that. 

"A couple years ago, prior to this happening, I was very healthy, very athletic, very active, outdoors, running a lot. And all of the sudden I get hit with this situation where I’m pretty much paralyzed from the neck down. The doctors were kind of perplexed with it. They did an MRI and realized ‘he’s got damage to his spinal cord’. They had thought possibly a diagnosis like Gullian-Barre, Transverse Myelitis, but realized it really didn’t fit that description. Ultimately, I couldn’t use, couldn’t function with any of my body below my neck, and I was on a ventilator for about 5 months. Pretty much anything that my body needed to do to survive, to live, was being provided with some type of artificial support, at the time. I went through so many things that we see our patients dealing with—things like having central lines placed, going through plasmapheresis, having IV therapies administered, being on a ventilator, being catheterized. Just so many invasive procedures, and to walk through that, to be on the patient side of that, with my clinical background, it was impressive. 

"It’s continuing to help me in my career to be able to see the needs of those on the other side. I think it’s been a very good benefit to me in many ways, and not just as a clinican, I think spiritually it’s helped me in a great way. Obviously, it’s provided a lot of great challenges, something that I didn’t just go through it, my families gone through it as well. That’s another component, I think, that as a clinician, we need to see what the patient’s going through from those perspectives. To be able to get to do that, first hand, tough, but I think it’s been beneficial to me." 


Keep an eye out for more interviews from Dr. Golden this week on what being a pharmacist means to him and where he thinks the profession is headed. 

 

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