Introducing our new video series: real doctors, real people

August 11, 2010 — Stephanie Crayton, UNC Health Care's media relations manager, introduces our new video series franchise, "real doctors, real people."

The first installment of 'real doctors, real people,' introduces James Yankaskas. His career started him off designing planes. He is now a pulmonologist at UNC Hospitals. He has combined the two lives and it has served him well.

I remember sitting in a doctor’s office one day having a conversation with him about his “other life.”  A life did not consist of writing prescriptions, or discussing treatment plan to battle a disease.  Instead, it was a life of painting and expressing himself through art.  I was completely drawn to the conversation. I’m not sure if it was because I was more confused or impressed by it. Didn’t this guy spend years being trained to treat sick people?  How did he have the time to paint?  So I asked. He explained to be that after spending every day with “sick people,” painting gave him an avenue to release the tension and sometimes anger that he shares with families.  Besides the fact that he enjoys it. It’s something that he’s done for years.

The conversation got me thinking about other doctors with stories to tell other than their latest invention, discovery or next great cure.  That conversation helped to birth “real doctors, real people;”  a fresh look into the lives of some of UNC’s physicians.  We know them as surgeons, researchers, and pediatricians, but there’s more to them than meets the eye.  This latest video franchise, “real doctors, real people” will introduce you to these men and women. A professional cake decorator, an accomplished pianist, a rocker in a band.

Our first installment is of a pulmonologist, Dr. James Yankaskas, who began his career designing planes. Really?   The guy who helps countless Cystic Fibrosis patients is into aeronautics?  Yep. That’s where it all began for him.

“real doctors, real people” is a nice complement to our other franchise, “Family House Diaries,” where we peer into the lives of patients who are being cared for long term at the hospitals.  Their stories are of hope and inspiration.  Both franchises are monthly installments that we hope you enjoy.

Don’t get me wrong, physicians are not the only interesting people walking the halls of UNC Hospitals; there are nurses, housekeepers, maintenance staff, and others-each with his or her own amazing story.  As the Medical Center News Office continues to develop franchise pieces, who knows what’s in store next.  Stay tuned …


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