The Doctor’s In

The Doctor’s In

By Floyd Miller

 

 

 

A few weeks ago it was suggested that I interview a young doctor in Sweetwater. The person that was selling me on this idea said it would be a great story. I hope that you will agree after reading about Dr. April Enard.Miller: I appreciate you taking the time to visit with me. I would like to know how you got into the medical profession. Dr. Enard: For me it was always just a dream of mine since I was a child. I am the first Doctor in my family. On my mothers’ side I come from a long line of educators, a lot of them are teachers and my father is a retired chemical engineer and my grandfather worked in the engineering field himself. I was just young and I had a real passion for children, babies and just for helping people. My mother noticed this, early on, in me and planted the seed and asked me what I wanted to do, and initially I told her that I wanted to be a teacher, because I wanted to be like her, like most kids, I looked up to my parents, wanting to do what they do but she told me that she thought I would be good as a {{more}} Doctor, you like, kids, helping people and science, so she planted the seed and I was like, Yes! I was about 10 years old then. We had discussions and that is where the seed was planted. I always had an interest in Science. I would participate in the science fairs and would win. When I got to high school I took a nurse assistant course and when I graduated I had my nurse assistant license. I knew, by the time I finished high school that I wanted to be a Doctor. Miller: Where did you go to school? Dr. Enard: I went to West Orange Star, in Orange Texas. This is also where my mother taught in the school system there. Miller: Where did your dad go to school? Dr. Enard: My dad went to school at West Orange also. Miller: Where did they go to college? Dr. Enard: They went to college in Beaumont. My father is from Orange Texas and they met in college at Lamar University in Beaumont. My mother is from Dayton Texas, right outside of Houston. They met at Lamar and fell in love. I am the second of their three children. Miller: Where did you go to college? Dr. Enard: I went to college at Louisiana State University or LSU, fighting tigers, do you like football? Miller: I do. Dr. Enard: Right now we have a great running back, Leonard Fournette, and he may win the Heisman Trophy. Miller: Do you have a husband and or children. Dr. Enard: No not yet. I desire to have that, it just has not happened yet. I do dedicate time to dating and I always have, I just have not found the right person yet. In my career and in my life I know what I deserve. My father was very instrumental in teaching me. He was a great father, provider and teacher so the bar has been set pretty high. My grandfather was also so I have had wonderful examples and I don’t want to settle for anything less. I am very dedicated to my profession and it does take up a lot of my time and they would have to understand that too. Marriage is a lot of work and I have seen that through my parents being married 38 years now and I admire them and love them even more for the example that they set and I hope one day, to find that great person too or maybe they will find me. I do have seven God-Children now. Miller: How long have you been practicing medicine? Dr. Enard: I graduated medical school in 2011, after medical school you go to residency; I went to residency from 2011 to 2014. Sweetwater was my first job out of residency and I have been here a little over a year now. I started in October of last year and have been a practicing doctor for about four years. Miller: What is one thing that you would want a lady to know, once they were pregnant or if they are thinking about having children. Dr. Enard: Well the first thing that I would want them to know is that pregnancy is great if you can plan it and a lot of people do plan pregnancy. They may not plan it down to the date and time but you get to a point in your life when you think you are ready. I think for women, we get to an age where we have to be responsible and even if you are not there at 18, by the time you turn 20, you sort of know, you’re in college or even if you’re at home, you think, I’m a young adult and if I decide to do adult things then I have to protect myself or you will have a little one to take care of. So I do think you have to plan even when it comes to birth control if you are not ready to have a baby, before something happens. If you do want to become pregnant I would encourage people to be in a stable situation, it is the best thing, because you have to think about someone else besides yourself. You want to have a good job and a good partner and family support. The health part of it, because I see all types of people that are pregnant, from teenagers to adult women, that part of it is to take care of yourself and take care of your body. Taking your prenatal vitamins and coming to the doctor and keeping up with your regular doctor visits. Anyone that finds out that they are pregnant due diligence and get set up with a doctor and at the minimum take prenatal vitamins that you can get over the counter and the rest your doctor will talk to you about with your routine prenatal visits. We prepare for a lot of things in our lives, like when we are going to get married, go to college there is no reason why you can’t prepare for a baby. Take care of yourself and if you don’t want to be pregnant do get on birth control. If you do want to get pregnant then take the necessary steps to make sure that you are in a stable situation with a good support system, take your prenatal vitamins and get set up with a doctor. Miller: There are a lot of situations that are not stable aren’t there? Dr. Enard: There are but you know I think when you find the right doctor that you can get through these things together. Even if it is not stable at the beginning, you have to get the chaos out of your life, it is so important because once you are pregnant you have a life, that is a gift, that is growing inside of you, you have to become the adult that you were destined to be, it is important. Miller: What is the greatest joy that you get from your career? Dr. Enard: I think the greatest joy is that I am living my dream. I am the first doctor in my family and I have inspired others, in my family and I am happy just to make my parents proud everyday and they are happy to see that we spoke this into being. We spoke this and then it happened. I went through all of this training and at the end of the day I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do. To have a full scope medical practice, I could see, basically, from the cradle to the grave so I can see young mothers and deliver them and continue to follow them and their children, from birth, all the way, to adulthood. I see from babies to adults and see all types of different things and I think that is very rewarding. Miller: So you do other things besides delivering babies. Dr. Enard: Yes I am a Family Practitioner but I do Obstetrics in my practice as well. I do adult medicine and pediatrics as well as obstetrics. Miller: What are the things that you would tell a person to do to live a better lifestyle? Dr. Enard: I’d like to say to be healthy, mind, body and soul. You need to take care of yourself daily, exercise, have good nutrition and try to eliminate the stress out of your life. We all need to learn to let things go and when to say no. In taking care of you, nothing beats, lifestyle changes and adjustments, there is no medicine for that. Miller: Lifting the fork to your mouth, does that qualify for exercise? Dr. Enard: “Laughing” Yes, it balances out, you are lifting the fork but putting more calories in so maybe you are breaking even at the end of the day and you can do that as long as you are eating vegetables, salads, protein, lean fish, chicken. Miller: Oh ok. Dr. Enard: “Laughing” Yes, those things. Not cheeseburgers, hotdogs or things that are fried or dipped in gravy “Laughing”. Miller: What would you say to young ladies, about your career path if they wanted to be a doctor? Dr. Enard: The first thing that I would tell them is to choose only a career that you are passionate about and that should be the driving force behind everything, because at the end of the day, you spend so much time at work, away from your family that you need to be happy with what you do. If you go to any career and that is not your motivation then you needed to choose something else, find your happiness. Not to just be driven for prestige or money or anything like that. It needs to be something that is in you that you want to do every day because that is what is going to make you a good doctor or whatever it is that you choose to do. That’s what will keep people coming back to you; it is your service, bedside manner or your passion for your job. And something else that I would tell them is that, we basically do 11 to 12 years of school, after getting out of high school, you have to be dedicated to college and medical school, post graduate studies and sometimes longer depending on your specialties, at a minimum it is 11 years. It is a lot of work so it really needs to be something that you are passionate about. Miller: What career path do you think you might have taken if you were not a Doctor? Dr. Enard: I’ve thought about that because on the way to becoming a doctor, sometimes you feel like oh I’m not going to make it, what if I don’t get into medical school, what is my plan B? I thought about that and every time I tried to pick a plan B I went back to plan A, so I think this was it. I liked, of course, teaching but I like being a doctor because I get to do all of things that I like. I get to help people, service people and you are an educator and teacher alike, you are doing that all of the time, with your patients. So for me there was no plan B. Miller: What are your siblings doing? Dr. Enard: My younger brother is into real estate and drives a taxi and my older sister, currently, is a councilor and works with young children, she has a passion for working with young children and being a councilor. Miller: I can tell that you are proud of your parents and I’m sure they are extremely proud of you too so when you are at a family reunion now does everyone address you as Doctor? Dr. Enard: No, I’m still just April. My whole family is very proud of me but I am still just April when I’m around them. Miller: What happens, when delivering a baby and things don’t work-out the way you anticipated? Dr. Enard: It is always difficult when you have to deal with complications or death and dying that are always hard. When you look at cases or scenarios and you think “maybe I could have done something a little differently”, I look at them all as learning experiences and one thing I pride myself on is I don’t have a problem asking for help, I learned that early on, you want a doctor that will ask another doctor for their opinion or get a second opinion. We are all advocates in the care of the patient. At the end of the day I am here to help you and nobody wants to see you win, more than me. I don’t want any bad outcomes. For every birth I want there to be a happy occasion, I have dealt with fetal demise, is very hard to deal with. When adults pass away it is also very difficult to deal with. My job is to make it as easy on the family as I can. I pray about it and hope that I give the best comfort and medical advice that I can, and you learn from it and grow. Dr. Enard: When I came here to Sweetwater and the Abilene area it felt like home and I loved the spirit and how everyone goes to church and asks you what church you go to, it just felt right. Miller: I really appreciate the things you have shared and are really glad that we came out to talk to you. Is there anything that you would like to share that I have not asked you? Dr. Enard: I love that I am practicing in a small town; I am from a small town so it is something that I could do because I am from a smaller town. I love the small town feel but I know that I can get to a bigger city if I want to, Fort Worth and Dallas are not that far away, and Abilene is close by. I also like seeing the growth of the hospital and the growth of my practice, Sweetwater really feels like home and I can honestly say that when I came to interview, I was very nervous, however now I feel right at home and am happy with the choice I made and hope to be here a long time