Making the Rounds with Dr. Travis Stork
Industry Perspective Dr. Travis Stork opens up about how he has become not only a renowned doctor, but also a household name.
You may know Dr. Travis Stork from his leading role on the hit TV show “The Doctors” or his one-season stint on “The Bachelor”.
But, believe it or not, the Midwest native had never planned on hitting the small screen — or getting into medicine at all, for that matter. As an undergraduate at Duke University, Stork set his sights on becoming an actuarial scientist. It wasn’t until a volunteering gig at a Washington D.C.-based free clinic that Stork found his true passion: working one-on-one with patients.
“I was just in awe of these doctors,” Stork says. “The work they were doing was so meaningful.”
Flash-forward more than a decade later and Stork is a host of “The Doctors”, a “Dr. Phil” spinoff that features medical experts who offer everyday health advice.
Although Stork stumbled upon his passion in a nontraditional way, he’s now working in a field that’s in dire need of more professionals. Here’s what he had to say about why he made the choice he did, and why he’s never looked back
Mediaplanet: Tell us about that “aha” moment when you knew medicine was the path for you.
Dr. Travis Stork: It was simple: When I got promoted from the lab at the D.C. clinic and started taking people’s blood pressure and recording their height, I realized there’s something sacred about the relationships doctors have with their patients. It hit me; I loved it. When I finally got into emergency medicine and did that for 10 years after going to med school at the University of Virginia, I learned I really enjoy taking care of anyone and everyone — from 3-year-olds to 99-year-olds. I’ve seen everything!
"We need good doctors. And you can’t put a price tag on what it feels like to go home and know that your work matters."
MP: What’s the biggest challenge about being a doctor?
TS: As your career progresses, being a doctor switches from learning to teaching. Obviously, med school is challenging, but the day-to-day is, as well. Even at the bedside, doctors are teaching their patients how to care for themselves. I view my job on The Doctors as being a teacher. I’m giving people the information they need to extend their lives.
MP: Did you ever dream you’d be practicing medicine on TV?
TS: Not for one second. The extent of my TV watching before The Bachelor was watching Duke Blue Devils basketball on SportsCenter. But that’s something I tell young people: Work hard and be the best you can be, but be careful about answering that “where do I see myself in 20 years” question. You never know how your career is going to evolve.
MP: How has this path proved successful for you?
TS: What I’ve learned from being on TV on The Bachelor and on The Doctors is TV has the power to reach a large and diverse audience. I’ve also realized health is something we all have in common. Communicating those tidbits to help people live better is very meaningful.
MP: Considering the current state of America’s healthcare system, why are we in need of passionate doctors?
TS: We need good doctors. And you can’t put a price tag on what it feels like to go home and know that your work matters.
MP: What advice would you offer aspiring doctors?
TS: If you’re looking to go into medicine, shadow the people you’re interested in. For instance, if you want to go into emergency medicine, don’t shadow someone at 9 a.m. on a Monday. Shadow them at 2 a.m. on a Saturday because that’s what it’s really like. But first and foremost, embrace learning.