A little background

If you are reading this, I think its fair to ask: “How did you end up wanting to start a blog when so many people are already doing this?”

Briefly, I started my professional life as a public health researcher. I wanted more, but wasn’t exactly sure what “more” meant. I enjoyed biology, liked healthcare, liked people, and this developed into a desire to practice medicine. I went to medical school, and decided to become a surgeon. I trained for a few years, but (for several reasons) I burned out.

So I’m 35, supposed to be mid-career and I had barely started/started very late, and found myself without a career and without a job.

What’s an clinician with some stats and some programing skills to do?

Well, I got a job as a data analyst at a local hospital to start. I work in the quality department, and my real job is to help my hospital comply with local and state quality regulations. As a result, most of the time the question I get is: “What’s happening right now?”

“What’s happening right now?” means: tell me how I’m currently doing, which means: simple stats, simple visualizations, and lots of Excel. I enjoy what I do very much, but I wish I had more opportunities to ask more complex questions and have a wider variety of tools at my disposal. I’d also like to be able to use the data that I have access to better and more efficiently.

To that end, I’m trying to improve my current skill set on my own. My goal is to emerge a “data scientist” which really amounts to being able to communicate (verbally and visually) more complex analyses and sometimes using better tools to do it. I also really enjoy visual art, and improving my data visualization skills is one way to give my creativity space to play at work.

I want my work (the expertise & skills that I’ve learned over time) to be meaningful and fulfilling. I want to do something that I feel good about, something that I can be proud of, and something that fits within my belief/value system (more on them later). I want to do something that allows me to tap into my interests in a more wholistic way.

A roof over my head, food on my plate, and clothes on my back aren’t bad either.