A quote I learned very early in my life is “if you stumble, make it part of the dance.” This is the philosophy of a single widowed mom who raised five kids who were far from perfect. Yet, she instilled in them such confidence, love of life, kindness, and responsibility that the flaws or weakness she saw in each of us were great opportunities for growth and life long developments that would impact the world.
I had the pleasure to interview Dr. Janette Nesheiwat. Dr. Janette is a top family and emergency medicine doctor. She brings a refreshingly no-nonsense attitude to the latest medical news, breaking down everything you need to know to keep you- and your family- healthy at all times. Whether caring for her patients in the ER, serving on the front lines of disaster relief with the red cross, or sharing need-to-know info with TV audiences, Dr. Nesheiwat’s mission is not only to save lives — but to change them, by giving real people the treatment and the expertise they need. Her sincere and straightforward approach is a product of her background. She was one of five kids raised by a widowed mother, and also completed us army advanced officer training in Ft. Lewis, Washington prior to becoming a family and emergency physician. She has led medical relief missions around the globe and today she is a medical news correspondent and the medical director at CityMd.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path as a doctor or healer?
I have to say my mother. She was working as a registered nurse since the day I was born. She was always in scrubs except for church on Sunday, and growing up, I watched her take care of people. She not only attended to all of us at home but even so many who approached her, neighbors feeling ill, relatives who call for an over the phone diagnosis, church folks with aches, and I even saw random strangers in the mall while she was shopping in her nursing uniform. I’m the child of a natural born caregiver, loves what she does and asks for more. The biggest impact this had on me was being a volunteer with my mom at the children’s hospital helping kids my age that couldn’t walk, talk, had missing limbs, cancer or were homeless.
She once brought home a foster child with cerebral palsy whose family couldn’t take her home for the holiday, so my mom brought her home for thanksgiving. I’ve never fed someone else before until I helped feed this amazing girl, who loved every bit of a homemade turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
It was the thanksgiving of ’89, really, that forever left me with such a feeling of goodness about myself.
I am really blessed knowing a simple task of kindness made such a difference in this girl’s life, especially mine.
How have your personal challenges informed your career path?
Growing up with very humble beginnings, in a family of five children with a widowed mom, in an old home that had one bathroom brought many challenges. When my dad suddenly passed away in an accident it devastated my mom and our close-knit family, but truly the love of friends and family encouraged me to work hard with a sense of purpose, and with a mom who fostered my dreams no matter how big they seemed. She identified my passion and sensitivity to others and knew I had the makings of being a doctor and saving lives. The financial challenges were another barrier but between scholarships, loans, grants, and work study programs, I tell my mom, we did it.
Her voice still echoes in my mind when I called her long distance after passing my first medical license exam- she cried and was sobbing, yelling out, Dr. Janette, Dr. Janette, Dr. Janette! That was the first time anyone called me Dr., and not just for dinner.
Can you share your “5 things I wish someone told me before I became a doctor”
- Wishing to become a doctor or lawyer or a Disney world princess has many requirements and challenges.
- I wish I knew how hard the AMA’s admission process is, I wish I knew about the horrendous tuition costs, I wish I knew that taking out a 200k loan means I need to treat 1 billion two hundred thousand colds to pay it off.
- I wish I knew the reality of study time is four years college four years medical school, and four more years of residency. Since kindergarten, I have attended a minimum of 24 years of schooling in a lifetime.
- I now know the life of a dedicated Dr. is not glamorous, easy, and unlike TV. Some illnesses have no cure.
- Even knowing all this I’d probably do it again.
Social media and reality TV create a venue for people to share their personal stories. Do you think more transparency about your personal story can help or harm your field of work? Can you explain?
Social media is a great way to get one’s story out there to inspire or maybe cause others to perspire. I think my story is very unique. My tough childhood, my unique culture, my financial concerns are some of the challenges I overcame to finally fulfill and achieve my dream.
The transparency of my life story will inspire others by showing how hard work can help better yourself, better your family, and better your society. I did it and so can you.
Can you please give us your favorite “life lesson quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant to your life?
A quote I learned very early in my life is “if you stumble, make it part of the dance.”
This is the philosophy of a single widowed mom who raised five kids who were far from perfect. Yet, she instilled in them such confidence, love of life, kindness, and responsibility that the flaws or weakness she saw in each of us were great opportunities for growth and life long developments that would impact the world. One brother and four sisters who grew up with humble beginnings stumbled, but today my older sister, a former DAS, army captain, bronze star recipient served three tours overseas is currently a presidential envoy for hostage affairs.
My only brother is a criminal defense attorney in Florida and Tennessee, my sister is a former Miss NY USA, book author, and founder of a children’s charity called, charm, my youngest sister Dina is a criminal defense attorney in Manhattan representing many high-profile cases, yours truly is a city md director of several sites, I am a medical television contributor for fox, msnbc, nbc, and cbs. We have never stopped dancing.
Other quotes: “if you can dream it, you can do it” (Walt Disney).
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Thank you for the confidence you have in me to be considered a person of great influence. Personally, and professionally, I lead by example. You can ask anyone I work with and they will share their first hand view of my commitment and dedication to my fellow man.
A movement I would like to inspire is one that would ban all juuls and vapes affecting kids that have deceptively resulted in the trading of cigarettes for those inhalers, which is like going from the pan into the fire. Toxins are toxins no matter if they are in the form of steam, smoke, or moisture. Nothing inorganic should enter a human body, especially teens and young children, who are still developing physically and mentally.