Wayne Mullins: A Patient’s Perspective on Healthcare
From Wayne Mullins we get a patient’s perspective on healthcare on this episode of the Perspectives on Healthcare Podcast with Rob Oliver. Wayne joins the show from down in Louisiana. This interview comes from the patient’s perspective interview Marathon.
Here are 3 things that stood out as Wayne Mullins shared a patient’s perspective on healthcare:
- Wayne has had a personal experience with healthcare since he was a child, when his brother was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This experience has shaped his views on healthcare and the responsibility that both patients and healthcare professionals have.
- Wayne believes that healthcare heroes are those who stay in touch with their “why,” or the reason why they went into the medical profession. He believes that these healthcare professionals are passionate about their work and genuinely want to help their patients.
- Wayne defines quality healthcare as “responsibility.” He believes that both patients and healthcare professionals have a responsibility to take care of their health.
Here is the transcript of Wayne Mullins: A Patient’s Perspective on Healthcare:
Rob Oliver: Hey, welcome to the podcast. What’s your name, my friend?
Wayne Mullins: Hey there, Rob. This is Wayne. How are you, sir?
Rob Oliver: I am well, thank you. It’s good to see you as always. Wayne. Where are you joining us from?
Wayne Mullins: I am joining joining you from Alexandria, Louisiana. Wonderful.
Rob Oliver: So I’m going to tell you this, that one of my goals for the podcast is to get representation from every single state, and Louisiana is one that has not been represented yet. So you are a notch on my bucket list or check mark on my whatever the whole statement is there. You are the man for helping me get closer to where I want to be. So let’s start here. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your experience in the healthcare system?
Wayne Mullins: Absolutely. So my experience with healthcare really started when I was four years old. That was the first time that I actually recall these things called doctors and this thing called health care, if you will. You see, when I was four years old, my brother was nine months old, and he was diagnosed with type one diabetes at that time. So over the span of his childhood spent in my childhood, it was very frequent that we were in doctor’s offices, doctor visits. Being from a small town, there wasn’t really a specialist in our area that dealt with early onset type one diabetes in children. So we would have to travel to a larger city. I don’t remember how long it was, but that was one of my earliest formative years in terms of hearing about and experiencing health care. And then when I was twelve years old, I actually had my appendix structure, and it wasn’t actually called until about two and a half weeks in that it was a ruptured appendix. So I ended up spending three weeks in the hospital. I was super close, supposedly, to not coming through that due to the infection that had set in inside my body. So from a very early age, I’ve had really close experiences with healthcare, and it’s kind of shaped my future, has shaped even what I do for a job, which has really nothing directly to do with health care, but it’s influenced the type of clients that we love to work with in our business.
Rob Oliver: Okay. It’s got to be incredibly difficult when you’re finding the doctor that specializes in for your parents is what I’m thinking. Finding the doctor that has the understanding of how to handle what’s going on with your child. Fascinating. Because we were literally just talking about Nicholas Smith, who was on the podcast before, and he is a pediatric psychologist working a lot with children, recently diagnosed with diabetes and talking about how it is a full living diagnosis. It’s not just the physical diagnosis, but there’s an emotional element and a relational element that goes with that. What’s your reaction to that?
Wayne Mullins: Yeah, I completely agree. Having kind of witnessed that, I was just there for the ride, if you will, coming through that, the childhood and my brother going through that experience. But now that I actually have kids of my own, it’s the things that we’re able to do with our kids that in hindsight, my parents weren’t able to do with my brother or they were able to do, but the number of, I guess, precautions that had to be taken. So in order for him as a young boy, to go spend the night with friends, there was a whole lot of work and process that had to take place because he had to have a shot before bedtime. He had to have a shot sometimes depending on blood sugar things early in the morning or even in the middle of the night, depending on what was taking place with his blood sugar. Diet obviously becomes a huge issue with that as kids and all of your friends, sweets are the thing, ice cream and candy and all those things. So just in hindsight, kind of looking back and through that, the challenges in terms of just learning to manage that, learning to deal with that, I can imagine. I haven’t personally had to deal with that with the child, but it can be monumental.
Rob Oliver: Wew, huge. So in your health care journey, have you experienced any healthcare heroes?
Wayne Mullins: Yeah, absolutely. Over the course of my life, I’ve had the privilege of working directly with a lot of them, kind of behind the scenes, getting to, if you will, kind of experience or hear things from their perspective, not as a patient, but as someone coming in to consult with them. And what I would say is that for me, Rob, the ones who have what I would say are the heroes are the ones that stay in touch with their why, in other words, why did they go into this profession? Because all the ones that I’ve talked to, at some point, there’s a why there’s a reason behind their decision to get into healthcare. I’m just thinking through a few of them that I’ve had the privilege of working directly with and the stories behind what led them down, the medical profession or into that field is so significant. And what’s interesting to see one of them that I’m thinking of, he’s around 70 years old now, he’s a heart surgeon, and he is so in tune with his life, helping other people save other people’s lives. And it just radiates. Right? It’s like with anything. Like when people are passionate about what they do, when they care for those that they’re there to serve, regardless of the field, but particularly in healthcare, in healthcare, they stand out. They stand out and they truly are heroes to not just the patients they serve, but the families that are impacted, the staff that they work with every day, day in and day out.
Rob Oliver: Again, Wayne, you’re talking about an impact that the individual’s impact in their work is not just an impact on the patients, but you went kind of both directions, in which it’s going to the patients and has the ripple effect of affecting the patient’s family, the patient’s friends, the patient’s community, and then in the other direction, the way that they are working and has an impact on their colleagues and then on the greater circle surrounding them. Is that properly understanding what you said?
Wayne Mullins: Yeah, that’s exactly it. And what’s interesting, Rob, about just a few that I’m thinking of is they are so in tune with that. Why that three of the ones that first come to my mind, they’ve actually invented devices within their specialization, because, again, they’re so in tune to this why they’re so in tune to help genuinely helping patients either go through whatever the health issue is or recovering from the health issue. So, yeah, it’s also the whole medical community that they’re impacting. And I genuinely believe it’s because those heroes are so in tune with that, with what drives them from within.
Rob Oliver: No doubt. Okay. So tell me, what does quality health care mean to you?
Wayne Mullins: Sure. So quality health care, to me is about one word, and that word is responsibility. I believe that when it comes to health care, number one, that we as the, quote, unquote patients, I guess you will. There’s a certain responsibility that we have in terms of our own health, taking care of our own health. But then the flip side of that is the responsibility, the burden or the weight that rests with the medical professionals as well. Right. They carry this burden with them because they understand that oftentimes the decisions that they’re making day in and day out are impacting lives, they’re impacting futures. And I just think that for so many people, we tend to sound like a country song. But there’s this great thing that we don’t miss it until it’s gone. That is so true with healthcare that we as individuals, as patients must understand that we can’t just go to the medical world, the medical profession, when we’ve neglected everything in our life, neglected our health, and then blame them for the situation that we’re in. And Unfortunately, I see that so often that we make ourselves out to be the victims in the situation when in reality, we’ve done so much of this contributing and to flip the table back around the other way, it ties back into the heroes. But the medical heroes, the healthcare heroes, they take responsibility for the lives of their patients, for the lives of the family members that are impacted. And that’s really what it comes down to. For me, quality health care is about responsibility from both sides.
Rob Oliver: Well stated that. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in that. So thank you. What do you wish your medical providers understood about you?
Wayne Mullins: Yeah, I’m going to follow that same line of thought. I wish that they understood. And some do the agency that we have and the responsibility that we have. Right. And I think all too often that I kind of think in terms of a coach. So when we want to improve an area of our lives or when we’re in high school or collegiate sports, there’s a coach. The coaches job is to help us get to a different level, help us perform at a level that’s higher or better than where we currently are. And I really think that if medical professionals understood that about each of us, myself included, that we do have agency over our lives and over our health, and that they view that relationship as not only someone who is there to help us recover, to help treat us whatever it may be, but also to coach us, to guide us, to hold us to a higher standard ourselves in terms of our agency overall in health care.
Rob Oliver: Okay. How do you communicate that to patients? Because sometimes patients feel like the medical professional is the one that’s in charge. They know everything like they’re the authority figure, and I come to them to receive their wisdom and guidance. And you miss out on that. Do you have suggestions for how patients can empower themselves or how they can change their view of themselves to make sure that they are in the space of what you’re talking about?
Wayne Mullins: Sure, absolutely. And I completely agree with what you said. We go to healthcare professionals for their expertise, for their authority, but also there’s often recommendations that come along with treatments. Right? There’s recommendations. For example, my dad had I can’t ever think of the right one. It’s the one he had five bypasses. So it’s one above quadruple quintuple quintuple bypass. It’s the one above four. He had bypass surgery several years back. And obviously, there are certain medications, blood pressure things and prescriptions that he has to deal on as a result of that. But another big part of that is exercise. He’s supposed to be getting exercise. And so it’s kind of that relationship of persuading them and understanding it in my dad’s case, understanding that the pills, the prescriptions, the treatments can only do so much. We do have agency over certain elements of our health. And so the onus falls on our shoulders. The responsibility falls on our shoulders for that.
Rob Oliver: Alright. And last question for you, my friend. What is one thing medical professionals can start doing today to improve the quality of health care?
Wayne Mullins: Yeah, I love this question, Rob. I think the number one thing that they could do is return to their why keep that front and center? We’re in this world that’s busy, that’s chaotic. Running a practice is very much like running a business. Obviously, it’s very similar. And there’s just a million things pulling for and vying for attention. There’s a million things that have to be done to maintain a practice. And I think it’s easy and I’m speaking for myself, it’s so easy to lose focus on our lives to lose focus on why we do the thing that we do. And so again, I’m inferring here kind of overlaying what I see what I experienced into their lives but I believe that so often they’re pulling so many directions that losing side of that why they’re there what was their calling into this profession? Because I believe for so many there’s something under there there’s something under the surface that will led them that direction. But I believe that why would bring them back to that center point and refocus how they show up every day.
Rob Oliver: Yeah. I mean, you’re going back to the Simon Syneck. You got to start with why find your why and that’s going to drive everything else very poignant and very straightforward and practical. So listen, Wayne, I really appreciate you joining me today. The time with you literally flew by and it might have been because I was listening to you and I was under a multitasking umbrella, but thank you for being here and I appreciate you and I respect and appreciate your perspective on health care.
Wayne Mullins: Thank you so much, Rob and good luck with your endeavor. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Rob Oliver: Talk to you later, my friend.
Wayne Mullins: Bye.
To connect with the show on social media use the links below:
We would love to hear from you. Visit the “Contact Us” form:
Look around the website for more Perspectives on Healthcare.
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed by guests on the Perspectives on Healthcare Podcast are solely the opinion of the guest. They are not to be misconstrued as medical diagnoses or medical advice. Please consult with a licensed medical professional before attempting any of the treatments suggested.