In order to become stronger and better at what we do, we have to reflect on how we have done things in the past. Asking and giving feedback allows for personal and group improvement.
Dr. Eric Forsthoefel is an emergency healthcare physician. Dr. Forsthoefel attended the University of Louisville for medical school, graduating in 2012. Following his time at the University of Louisville, he completed his residency in emergency medicine at Louisiana State University.
Dr. Forsthoefel is certified in emergency medicine by the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and holds both an LA State Medical License, which has been active since 2013, and a FL State Medical License, which has been active since 2014.
Dr. Forsthoefel has over six years of experience handling medical cases in the emergency room setting, and is currently based in Tallahassee, Florida.
Where did you first know you were destined for the medical industry?
I was exposed to the medical field growing up, and I think I was initially reluctant to be outspoken about my interest in becoming a physician. I had great interest in religious studies and philosophy when I entered college, therefore I pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Religion. As I was completing the last few credits needed for my major, I realized that medicine was still what I wanted to do. At this point I made the proper course arrangements and completed my pre-medical coursework in preparation for medical school. Took the test, did well, and here I am.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day in the Emergency Department is very fast paced and busy. Each day I am seeing multiple patients, usually about 30 in a shift, with a wide variety of complaints and varying levels of acuity. Productivity is just inherent to the job. Every shift is different, and this is part of what made Emergency Medicine the specialty I chose.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The emergency department can be a very chaotic place, which is why organization and efficiency are key in the functioning of the department. There are always new ideas generated between myself and the physicians that I work with. Usually, as a team, we can present ideas that we have and work to bring them to life. With the help of our team of physicians, we are constantly working to come up with new ideas that would allow us to provide better care for our patients.
What’s one trend that excites you?
With all of these new fitness trackers and cooking meal kits, there seems to be a trend towards better health. It’s becoming cool again to be healthy and active! People are becoming more educated on better eating habits, as well as getting outside and being active. It is exciting to see people being proactive about their health.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am not sure about a “habit,” but I do believe that my focus and attention to detail are characteristics that allow me to be productive and proficient in my work. This allows me to give each patient my full attention despite the chaos of the emergency department setting. Although I must work fast, attention to detail is important because many times a small part of a patient’s history or exam may be a large clue to help make the diagnosis and guide the right treatment for the patient.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would probably advise my younger self to spend more time learning about the business aspect of medicine. There is little focus on this subject during medical training. Whether working for a hospital or in a private practice setting, having an understanding of the business side of medicine is important.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Exercise does not help EVERYONE sleep better. But I do encourage it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Encourage feedback. In order to become stronger and better at what we do, we have to reflect on how we have done things in the past. Asking and giving feedback allows for personal and group improvement. Therefore, I encourage this among my coworkers.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Maintaining strong interpersonal relationships has been key in my success. Medicine is very much a team sport, so it is vital to have strong relationships with the people that you collaborate with.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I love barbecuing but I am terrible at making a good smoked brisket. After many very dry pieces of meat ending up in the trash, I am still trying to overcome this. If anyone has tips, I would be happy to hear them.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
It is important for those entering the medical field to understand the commitment that they are making. You are committing to a life of demanding work and essential continued education. Education does not stop after medical school and residency training. It is time consuming and initially, costly. But if they are passionate and driven to devote themselves to this career then medicine will serve as a very gratifying and fulfilling career choice. It is, without a doubt, an honor to serve as a physician and help others.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My Amazon prime membership.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There is not really one specific software that we rely on. We use multiple programs that each have their place in ensuring productivity.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The House of God written by Samuel Shem, published in 1978.
What is your favorite quote?
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
- Success, particularly in the medical field, isn’t an end-goal you achieve, but a ongoing process where learning and improving are vital.
- Know the field you are going into, and make sure that’s what you want to do. It can be easy to idealize careers, particularly prestigious ones, but you need to be practical.
- Regardless of your career path, you are (nearly) always part of a larger team. Though it may not be obvious, people skills and being able to work with others are necessary to help you excel.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.