Division of Infectious Diseases

Dr. Sue Swindells on “Why I Love ID”

Dr. Sue Swindells on “Why I Love ID”: 

“So, I found myself in a fancy maternity hospital in San Francisco not too long ago, while my daughter was having a baby.  The nurses there were very excited to have an Infectious Diseases doctor in the room.  I had thought they might be a bit nervous about my presence, but they were very happy to have me because they had lots of questions.  More than one of them said that they thought Infectious Diseases doctors were amongst the smartest, and that we are really good at solving difficult patient problems.  Mostly they had personal questions like whether going to Brazil on honeymoon was a good idea or not, in light of the ongoing Zika epidemic.  That one was pretty easy to answer.

It was very rewarding to be thought of as a “smart” doctor, and I do believe that many Infectious Diseases doctors that I know are very wise and thoughtful people.  This is important in a discipline where we are mostly paid to think, rather than to do procedures or operate on people.  I have now been an HIV doctor for more than 30 years, and can say that this disease has entirely shaped my career.  It was unheard of when I was in medical school, and only discovered when I was a very junior doctor.  The disease still fascinates me and I learn new things every week.  Every year I also get Christmas cards from patients who credit me with saving their lives – there are very few professions where you actually get to save lives.  At the risk of sounding sappy, I can honestly say I view this as a privilege.”

 

See more about Dr. Swindells and the UNMC HIV team here.


 

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