Brian F. Lich, MD, DTM&H, FACP, on becoming a physician and pursuing something greater than himself


Brian F. Lich, MD, DTM&H, FACP
Assistant Professor of Medicine,
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Training Program,
Director of Global Health and Social Justice, University of Oklahoma Department of Medicine,
ACP Well-being Champion

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

What is your current position?

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Training Program
Director of Global Health and Social Justice, University of Oklahoma Department of Medicine
ACP Well-being Champion

Where did you attend medical school and postgrad training?

Medical School—University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Internal Medicine Residency—University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene—London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Why did you choose to become a physician?

Working as a physician allows me the opportunity to pursue something that is bigger than myself. When we have the chance to go to work, we are doing so for our fellow man, not for ourselves. Every ounce of effort we put in, whether through studying or seeing patients face to face, has the chance to greatly impact the life of another.

What field of internal medicine did you select and why?

I chose to pursue academic general internal medicine because I frankly could not imagine letting go of any one field. I cherish the opportunity to address any concern a patient may bring up. I also love the flexibility general internal medicine gives one to pursue specific interests in varying disciplines.

Please describe a typical day in your practice.

No two days are alike. In academics, I have the opportunity to work in an outpatient clinic, participate in medical school and resident education, research, and serve as an attending for the internal medicine inpatient service. While I am working in the hospital, I will typically round and see patients in the morning and follow up on things throughout the afternoon. In clinic, I see a mix of new and returning patients throughout any half-day session. With teaching, I have the chance to lecture, lead workshops, and guide medical students through clinical skills trainings.

What are some of your special interests professionally?

My passion is in global health and social justice. I view these interrelated topics as providing an intentional focus on caring for all patients, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. All patients deserve to be cared for, and working within global health allows you to meet and learn from a very diverse group of people.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of medicine?

I love to be with my family, playing with my two young children at the park, and staying active through running/playing soccer.

What advice would you like to share with medical students, or what do you wish someone would have told you while you were in medical school?

Don't come to work or school to impress someone. Come to care for others. If you keep your patients at the forefront of your learning, everything else will fall into place.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I were a talented musician. The ability to create energy and joy with music is something truly amazing that transcends all cultures.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I am most proud of becoming a physician. The fulfillment that comes from this career is more than I ever could have imagined. I am honored that people from all different walks of life trust me with their health, and I am grateful for all that I have learned through these experiences.

What is your most treasured possession?

A DVD that I made for my wife that documented our travels together after graduating from college. I learned what true love and commitment were during that time.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Link from the Legend of Zelda series. Link is the hero of time who returns in each story as the destined savior of Hyrule. Link is quiet with few (almost no) words ever uttered. Rather, he is focused on placing his own well-being at risk so that he may ultimately help others. He demonstrates that a leader does not need to be the loudest voice in the room but rather needs to have the most steadfast commitment to the greater good.

Back to the February 2021 issue of ACP IMpact

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