Jack O'Brien (@drjackobrien), DO
"One of the most powerful moments that happened to me when I was in the hospital, when I was a first-year resident. My first patient that I went to see that day was going to the hospice.
When you have a patient that is about to die, you want them to be very at peace with it."
She was 88, she had lived a very long life. I sat with her and talked with her a lot about it but I remember specifically walking into the room that day saying, "Hi miss, how are you? It's been such a pleasure treating you. You taught me a lot about life and how to enjoy it. I just want to wish you well".
The first response that she gave to me, she goes, "It's fine. I know I'm going to die."
I think something that's very important is to not make your job your whole life. I have a lot of interests outside of medicine, gymnastics still, I love cooking, traveling, speaking other languages. It's very important to keep yourself faceted so that you're not just tied to one thing. It's kind of the same as not putting all of your eggs in one basket because if that one thing fails then you're not going to have anything else to rely upon.
I think that coming out is very hard for a lot of people, mostly based on their family push-back from it. Everyone is usually scared that their family is going to disown them but again, you need to live your life for yourself.
HIV prevention is something that's very important to me. I'm actually starting a program at the clinic in my family medicine program to help get at-risk youth, gay, Latino, African-American men on it for a very cheap affordable price. All the visits would be free and they'd be able to get the medication for $30 a month through our hospital which is amazing given that the medication costs $1,400 a month without insurance.
HIV rates are finally plummeting because of this medication because people are very adherent to it. It's more effective than condom use in preventing HIV, but condoms plus PrEP works. It's a hundred percent effective in preventing HIV when taken appropriately and it's something that I hold very near and dear to my heart and I want to spread to the whole world.
Giving back is very important to me in any sense of the word. I'm actually partnering with Chrissy Monroe for a Survive To Thrive global which is a group that helps people who have been abused emotionally, physically in relationships. She's working to help these people get out of these abusive relationships, place them into new homes and just help them better their lives. I'm kind of more the medical aspect of that so she's wanting to send some of the patients, her clients to me for medical care if they need it. My mother is actually helping me create care kits to send these women because a lot of them are homeless with like toothbrushes, toothpaste, tampons other things.
We're taking donations also for that and we're hoping to really spread awareness for that because domestic abuse are very important for anyone gay, straight, lesbian, transgender. Every single person is affected by that and I want to help stop it and help those who have been abused.” @drjackobrien #RealCaregiversRealStories