/ by UK HealthCare
For this week's edition of Making the Rounds, we caught up with Dr. Lindsay Ragsdale, director of the Pediatric Advanced Care team at Kentucky Children's Hospital. Dr. Ragsdale specializes in pediatric palliative care, which is a field that focuses on preserving the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses.
When did you know that you wanted to be a doctor?
I started being interested in science when I was young. I grew up in a family that was really focused on helping others. I think science and helping others married together is medicine. I started early thinking I was going to be a doctor and pursued that goal. I’m from Tennessee originally but came to Kentucky for medical school. I’ve been here for a long time and came back to practice as faculty after doing my fellowship.
How did you choose your specialty?
I couldn’t focus on just one organ; I really wanted to focus on the entire patient and the entire family. In times of crisis, that’s when the biggest needs are for family.
I discovered palliative care. I didn't know it existed. We didn't have that here when I trained, and so after some searching and research, it really just clicked with me that I get to focus on the entire needs of the patient, the entire needs of the family. I have plenty of time to sit and be present with families without needing to be rushed through that process.
How do you connect with patients and their families?
Medicine has become more complex over time. We try to simplify a very complex situation and really focus in on what are the needs of this family at this moment and really drilling down into what can we do to help them at this moment and then how do we help them in the future. With so many medical teams, it can feel disjointed at times. We like to be the glue to keep everybody on the same page and keep the family involved.
What's the best part of your work?
We do a lot of thinking about us as a person and what we bring to the bedside with our families. I think what this work has taught me is to really be grateful for every day because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. None of us gets a guarantee but to take every day as it comes and be very grateful for what we have. I think it’s taught me a very valuable lesson about what my priorities are as a person, as a physician, as a mom, as a wife.
Watch our interview with Dr. Lindsay Ragsdale to learn more about what inspires her as a physician.