From MBA to MD, a change in career was just what this doctor ordered

KMBZ Cover Story: A Night In The ER

Jim Cunningham
January 12, 2018 - 6:58 am

University of Kansas Hospital


The KMBZ Cover Story, "A Night in the ER," concludes Friday with a story about a man who decided in his 30s that he was dissatisfied with his career and embarked on a new path in emergency medicine. 

One of the attending doctors at 1 a.m. in the emergency room at the University of Kansas Hospital is Dr. Bryan Imhoff, 42, a third year resident. When most people would feel trapped in their chosen profession, Imhoff took a chance on something different.

"I actually trained as an engineer, an industrial engineer, which is all about process, and I ended up working in that field over the summer before I graduated -- figured out that's not what I wanted to do," Imhoff said. "I ended up working in corporate America in a consulting job in Chicago."

Imhoff has a BA in Engineering and an MBA to go along with his MD. 

One standard Imhoff must meet is good bedside manner. 

"We tell our residents, when they come into training, nothing will wash you out of here, will get you asked faster to leave the program, than the patients don't like you," said Dr. Dennis Allin, Director of Emergency Medicine. "That's not tolerated here -- I don't care how much you know."

Imhoff looks forward to the challenges that come with being an ER doctor. Even in his old career he was focused on diagnosing and solving problems. Imhoff said he gets a lot of stimulation from the unpredictable nature of the cases he sees, from minor head injuries to patients who are real danger of dying.

"It's that variety that's interesting for me and brings me in every day, for sure," Imhoff said.

Omhoff's bio on the KU Med website says he and his wife have four boys between the ages of 5 and 10. They live in Leawood.

From Thursday:

One of the most stressful jobs in the ER is trauma nurse. 

Jill Sailer, RN has worked in the emergency room for about 17 years, a real veteran. She's following in the footsteps of her mother, who also had a career as a Registered Nurse.

"Back in my high school days it was either accounting or nursing and I did spend several semesters in accounting, and it just was not for me," Sailer said. "I made the switch as a sophomore in college."

Working in the high-stress atmosphere of the ER can take a toll on ones emotional health. One of the most difficult cases the health care professionals can face is the death of a child.

"Even though I've been doing this a long time, those kinds of cases still get to me," Sailer said.

Sailer has seen a lot of good and bad in the ER. The long hours can be difficult, but there is so much that keeps her coming back each day, like the rush she feels from helping a dying patient recover.

"There's about 150 to 170 patients who walk through our doors every day and I can't think of any other job that I could be doing where I could help such a great number of people when I come to work every evening," Sailer said.


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