At Vanguard, our mission is to make a positive impact on our patients, our community, and our world. We often say, we just happen to be a medical practice. Regardless of whether we were a hotel, construction company, or medical practice, our mission of making a positive impact would be unchanged.
We always want to make sure we are moving towards our mission. Thus, at the end of the year, our medical providers and senior team members reflect on lessons learned. Several of our team members share their lessons with you.
Our patients are the heroes.
Recently, I have surgically treated a 75-year-old male for melanoma. He and his wife were together for the procedure. I explained to them the diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and they listened very carefully. They had many questions. Due to the fact that his melanoma was caught at its earlier stages by another Vanguard medical provider, his chances of cure were high. During the melanoma excision, they shared with me that he really needed to do well, as the couple was now the legal parents of their two grandkids, due to a difficult family situation. They told me about the challenges of being a parent at their age, and the differences in parenting today vs. when they were a young couple. I could see in their voice their struggle. I could feel the enormous amount of energy that they had to come up with daily, at a time where they should be mentally relaxing. They now had full responsibility for these young children, and getting ill was just not an option.
True heroes go above their physical, emotional and psychological limits to help others, with only one motivation in their hearts: love. I am inspired daily by the stories of my patients at Vanguard. They make me see the world through many different angles. They inspire me to feel gratitude, love, and compassion. They inspire me to be a better physician every day.
Dr. Renata Prado is a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. She is originally from Brazil and completed her dermatology residency and Mohs fellowship at the University of Denver. She joined Vanguard because of its mission to make a difference.
A doctor must be the captain of his/her own ship.
In an era when physicians are losing autonomy in the practice of medicine, Vanguard gives dermatologists the freedom and resources to deliver medical care the way it is meant to be delivered. From selecting team members to customizing schedules, each Vanguard doctor has a high degree of control. With that autonomy, however, comes the responsibility to lead well. We say at Vanguard that “a doctor must be the captain of his/her own ship.” Being a captain means steering the ship and its crew in all conditions, good or bad. Beyond delivering exceptional patient care, it also means being a role model for the team and guiding team members in the right direction. As a doctor, the buck stops with me. I believe practicing autonomously brings out the best in all of us. And when our doctors thrive, our patients thrive.
Dr. Michael Leslie is a double board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist. He has a Ph.D. from MD Anderson, and he completed his medical education and training at the University of Texas. He has been named a “Top Doc” in Colorado Springs for two consecutive years. As one of Vanguard’s partner physicians, Dr. Leslie is committed to leading a practice where doctors thrive.
To reach the mountain top, you have to climb uphill.
Our Vanguard team loves physical challenges. Whether it’s running a race, climbing a 14er, or hiking the Manitou Incline, you’ll always find Vanguard team members up for the challenge. Every summer, teams of us get up early and climb various 14ers. We also have a “Donut Party” atop Pikes Peak. You can get there any way you want, whether it’s climbing or driving. We celebrate with BBQ and donuts atop the mountain.
We love climbing 14ers because it is symbolic of how we approach work at Vanguard. When you climb a 14er, it gets harder and harder the further you go. At so many points, you’re tempted to turn around, but you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. We do the same at Vanguard. We don’t take short cuts, we work hard, and when it’s difficult, we just put one foot in front of the other. We owe it to our patients and to ourselves to keep climbing and to be excellent in what we do.
Leisle Chung is the Executive Director at Vanguard. She focuses on furthering Vanguard’s mission to make a positive impact on our patients, our community, and our world.