Faculty Feature - Dr. Giavonni Lewis
Oct 9, 2019 12:00 AM
We talked to University of Utah Health burn and critical surgeon, Dr. Giavonni Lewis, to find out why she chose burn surgery as her specialty and what advice she has for those interested in a career in surgery.
Q: What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?
Dr. Lewis: Burn injury impacts many people from various walks of life, yet, every burn represents an unexpected and tragic change from daily life. As a burn and critical care surgeon, it is my job to help patients and family understand the severity of their injuries, the potential outcomes and discover a new path in life. We do this by intentionally treating both the physical and emotional wounds from the day they arrive in our center. When they leave, I understand the dramatic challenges they have overcome to take the first step -one foot in front of the other- under their own steam.
Q: Why did you pick your particular specialty in surgery?
Dr. Lewis: I think burn as a career chose me. Critical care and trauma interested me early in my training as a general surgeon. The intersection of physiology and injury appealed to the scientist in me. I find the field of burn surgery really supports, promotes and implements true interdisciplinary care both short term and long term.
Q: What advice do you have for medical students who are interested in surgery?
Dr. Lewis: Always approach every field of medicine with an open mind and what draws your interest. There seems to be a fear of poor work life balance with surgery. Surgery offers the same possibilities to find a niche that works best for your life. I would recommend considering all aspects of surgery and if the worst part of it still brings "joy" then surgery is your field. My first surgery as a 3rd year medical student mesmerized me and set off a lifelong journey in surgery.
Q: What does it mean to you to be an educator for the next generation of surgeons?
Dr. Lewis: It’s expected to pass along what we have learned over the life of our training and practice. Learning to adapt and understand how to teach the changing faces of our trainees through innovative techniques and devices or adjusting our own teaching styles to meet those shifts remains the central approach to my particular educational style.
Q: What is something fun that the residents don’t know about you?
Dr. Lewis: I have completed 2 sprint triathlons and participate in the Little Red Bike ride annually (even post call and on service in June) since I moved to Utah. I was in the marching band and still play the clarinet.
For more information on Dr. Lewis visit her profile here.