I hear a lot of students are having a hard time deciding on a major. I hear a lot of grown ups talk about hating their jobs. So here it is: a series of interviews about What I Want To Be When I Grow Up. This is here to help people decide what occupation they want to occupy. Or, it’s here to help people resurrect their dreams of being a marsh bug collector or a Las Vegas private investigator.
First occupation in the spotlight: A Spook.
Second occupation in the spotlight: An Archeologist.
Third occupation: A Writer
Fourth occupation: A Scientist
Fifth occupation: A Stay-At-Home-Parent
Dr. Armand Dorian is one of those guys that make you think. Period. He’s super intelligent and thoughtful, so much so, that after I interviewed him I thought, “He’d make a really good hero in my book.” He’s passionate about life–which is good because he’s in the business of saving it.
His resume is longer than my foot (I have really big feet) and he has excelled at everything he’s turned his hand at. Sports, philosophy, doctoring, consulting, TV show hosting, entrepreneurial business, he’s even invented a new water . . . you name it he’s done it. That’s why I’m officially proclaiming him a Renaissance man, and henceforth dub him Sir Doctor Armand Dorian the Renaissance Man (feel free to put that title on your card, Dr. Dorian).
(painting by Cyd Wicker)
Renaissance Man aka: Polymath, a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Wearing tights is not required.
Dr Armand Dorian:
But don’t just take my word for it. I had the great honor of a phone interview with Dr. Dorian.
Knights and Ladies, I give you my interview with Dr Dorian!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a sports hero when I was young, I played them all. Then in college at UCLA, I was a philosophy major. I just wanted to sit under trees and think. But that doesn’t pay too well.
I got into genetics–human genome sequencing. I started working in a lab, sequencing genes. That was a buzz. Then three things happened that led me to my current career in medicine.
1.) I met a child with Ataxia-telangiectasia, one of the diseases we were trying to clone in the lab. I felt powerless. And I felt what I was doing in the lab–although helpful work–was just too distant.
2.) I was a life guard, and one day I saved a kid from drowning.
3.) I was leaving a party with some friends when I saw someone on the side of the road, bleeding. I told my friends to stop, I jumped out and ran to help. There was a guy–stabbed in the chest. Blood everywhere. I did all I could before the paramedics showed up. That kid ended up being a guy I had known previously, he’d gotten into drugs and some other bad stuff.
It was then I knew I wanted to be in the profession of saving lives.
But doctoring is not all I want to be. With the way we are today, we CAN do so many things. Take cell phones, you can do so much with them. Although it can steal some of your time, you can also multi task easier. You’re able to be so many different things now, when before you couldn’t.
Do you ever get tired of your life being just like the Dr’s in ER, Grey’s Anatomy, and SCRUBS? How accurate are those shows?
I am the consultant for those shows, so I feel like they are putting my life on TV.
(he’s also the medical consultant for Hawthorne, Southland, Days of our Lives, & Diagnoses X)
It’s entertainment and there’s a goal—using medicine to get a point across. But of course the characters and story come first, so sometimes they have to make compromises with the medical authenticity.
ER, without a doubt, is very accurate. There are two full-time writers who were physicians, two doctors rotating on set, and one producer is a physician.
I’ve had lots of fights with directors about masks. They’ll shoot the actor without a mask and I’ll tell them, “there’s no way they wouldn’t have a mask on,” but they leave the mask off so you can see the actor’s faces.
(Grey’s Anatomy–the eyes have it)
SCRUBS is good about the emotions behind the profession. They can be somewhat silly in regards to some of the medical stuff that gets through but they do a great job about showing the emotions of what a doctor goes through.
(eez a very funee show)
Generally speaking, what kind of personality traits does a doctor need to possess?
Medicine is a weird place right now—it’s changing every year. In my parents generation being a doctor meant being wealthy, respected, a community leader.
But now doctors are a service provider. There’s a lot more business and bureaucracy that goes into it, which is unfortunate.
Without a doubt, the most important trait is to care. If it’s not in you to do it for free, then it’ll get overwhelming. Just think what you have to do to be a doctor: a minimum of 8 years of higher education, you graduate with loads of debt, you work an insane amount of hours, have a minimal amount of personal life, there’s a lot of stress. But if you care about your patients, all that doesn’t matter.
What do you love about your job?
I walk into a person’s life and in 5 minutes I’m effecting them, their family members, and doing my best to make it better. That privilege is the coolest thing. When you save someone’s life—there can’t be anything better than that.
What don’t you love about your job?
It’s now being regulated by people who have no idea about medicine—both by the government and administrators. When the bottom line interrupts the doctor/patient relationship–I hate that.
If you could change something about the American healthcare system, what would it be?
A very simplistic answer would be: let the doctor and consumer have a relationship, no third party.
It’s gonna happen someday and I’ll tell you how. Because of technology. Technology will help us be connected with information and doctors. And then you won’t need to go in to the doctor, you can simply make a call, or look it up online, and then there won’t need to be a third party.
Can you share an experience that is profound to you in regards to being a doctor?
There’s so many, you carry them as scars and you don’t bring them up. Profound experiences happen every day when you’re an ER doctor.
The most heart wrenching is really really sick kids. Kid’s don’t have much of a reserve—they crash really fast. Time is short. It’s important for you make a good decision. The following video is of a kid that we were able to save. We did the right things quickly. He made a come back.
What do you like to do for fun and relax?
I like to be with my family—I have two kids, a six year old and a four year old . . . and one on the way! Because I’m on shift work, it’s very cool because unless there’s a major disaster I get to spend a lot of time home on weekdays. So I get to spend time with my kids during normal days.
I’m a weekend warrior–I play basketball with a group of guys.
I’m also an entrepreneurial, I helped develop Cardio Water, and am trying to bring medical info into other retail products.
(DRINK ME. LIVE LONG)
Now let’s talk about Deadliest Warrior:
In my interview with Geoff Desmoulin, he not only accuses you of eating McDonalds and doubts your Doctorhood, he also harps on your lab coat! What do you have to say about that?
(Dorian and Geoff–friends or enemies. Or . . . frenemies?)
As a biochemist who sits in the lab all day his head is clouded.
As for the McDonalds McCafe, yes I admit that I drink that. But it’s because we shoot so far from everything, there’s no Starbucks. So while everyone’s gorging on cheesecake for dessert, I drink a McDonalds coffee for dessert instead.
And you know–people are always surprised how tall I am when they see me in person. You know I’m 6″? Geoff just makes me seem small because he’s so ginormous.
Who was the warrior you were most impressed with?
The Spartan and his ability to be such a complete package—both individually and as a team. A little bit of armor, simple weapons, and the way they use that shield as a group and individually. It’s amazing how the Spartan is still the ultimate warrior after all these years.
Who were the warriors you would least likely want to meet in a dark alleyway?
Not a zombie or vampire for sure!
Also the Russian spetnez. They’re the read deal—formidable. They bring it every time. They have no safety in mind. Which makes everything scary.
What are some of your favorite weapons?
Ancient weapon- a claymore. It’s the size of a human. So intimidating. It looks goofy because it’s so big but it lopped off three heads in one stroke like in a cartoon.
“My medical advice would be to steer your head clear of claymores.”
I also like the weird designs. The martial arts weapons are cool, like the twin hooks.
Modern day weapons—Navy SEAL. I love the M-4. I wasn’t a big gun person before the show but now I love it.
“My medical opinion is that this man is dead. Dead as dead can be.”
So I’m hoping against hope that SPIKE TV will renew Deadliest Warrior for a 4th Season–so that there’ll be more amazing match ups and we’ll get to see more of the intelligent Dr Dorian.
But until then, anytime you hear a super accurate medical reference in Grey’s Anatomy you’d better tip your hat Dr Dorian’s way.
And go buy some Cardio Water and live longer thanks to Dr Dorian.
And hope that if you’re ever taken to the ER, you’ll get a doctor like him.
Thanks so much to Sir Dr Dorian for being here today!
Tune in next time to read: What I Want To Be When I Grow Up: A Zookeeper
Have any thoughts about what makes a good doctor?
What do you love about Deadliest Warrior?