Chad Walker, DO, is a rheumatologist with Professional Orthopaedic Associates in Scranton. He serves as the Third District Trustee on the Pennsylvania Medical Society's Board of Trustees and mentors medical students at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.
Dr. Walker was named one of the Pennsylvania Medical Society's 2017 Top Physicians Under 40. This is the first of many conversations that PAMED publish with its 2017 award winners this fall - both on our website and the next edition of Pennsylvania Physician magazine:
Q: Why did you become a physician?
Dr. Walker: Honestly, I can't remember ever seriously considering a career outside of medicine. Practicing medicine is something I consider to be a privilege.
At a basic level, most of us got into this profession to help others. I feel fulfilled when I can use my training to help others navigate through the process of diagnosis and treatment.
Q: What inspires you in your practice?
Dr. Walker: Many diseases I encounter are chronic and can manifest with many different organ system involvement. In rheumatology, we often see patients that have suffered with ailments that may or not be related to our area of expertise.
When I am feeling discouraged or jaded, there are always patients that can remind me why I chose this path. Patients with devastating disease, who maintain a positive, upbeat attitude really inspire me to put things into perspective.
Q: What are the biggest challenges of being a young physician?
Dr. Walker: I'd have to say the non-medical part of medicine has been one of the more challenging aspects of "practice." The art of medicine and the challenges of diagnosis and treatment is part of the appeal of being a physician.
However, to be able to do this you have to develop skills that have nothing to do with medical training. Developing leadership skills and business acumen have been areas I've needed to build on as a young physician.
Q: What do you do to achieve work/life balance?
Dr. Walker: My outlook has always been that leading a happy life lies on the work/life balance. I'm fortunate to work in a practice filled with great people, whose attitude is supportive and reflects their dedication to their jobs and our patients.
Outside of work, I value the time I have with family and friends and try to get out in nature and see as much of the word as I can. A hike in the woods can be just what I need to recharge.