Thomas George Varghese, MD, discusses nurturing the passion that drives a career in internal medicine


Thomas George Varghese, MD
General Internal Medicine Hospitalist Physician
Providence St. Peter Hospital, Olympia, Washington

Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore, India

St. Joseph Hospital, Chicago, Illinois

What is your current position?

I am a general internal medicine hospitalist at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA.

Where did you attend medical school and post-graduate training?

I attended medical school at Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital in Bangalore, India and completed my internal medicine residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

Why did you choose to become a physician?

I was inspired by my parents and brothers who chose this path ahead of me; their passion, service mindedness, and dedication has sustained me through all of these years in medicine.

What field of internal medicine did you select and why?

General internal medicine—its vast diversity of patients and ever-expanding scope of practice ensure self-perpetuating and lasting intrigue and interest.

Please describe a typical day in your practice.

Our day begins with sign out from the night teams. We then start precharting on our assigned patients, followed by bedside rounds, huddles with case management, orders, notes, and calls to patient families.

Other than the morning sign out, the remainder of the events rarely occur in sequence; as hospitalists, we often find ourselves multitasking and reorganizing our schedules on a regular basis to meet the demands posed by each day.

What are some of your special interests professionally?

Endocrinology and quality improvement.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of medicine?

I love writing in my spare time and playing with my son.

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?

At its very core, the practice of medicine is a life of sacrifice.

To derive joy from your work as a physician, you must consciously nurture the passion that drove you to pursue this career and fully commit to the cause of making the lives of others better in small and big ways alike.

Which living person do you most admire?

My wife—she embodies all of the qualities in a person that I hold in high regard and try to emulate.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to work in the absence of good sleep.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would stop being self-critical all of the time.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Professionally, my greatest achievement has been being able to go through the process of moving to the United States from India and continuing my practice of medicine.

What is your most treasured possession?

Apart from my family, my life experiences are my most treasured possession.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Hands down, Rocky Balboa.

What is your motto?

In a world where you can choose to be anything, be kind.

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