Dr. Jeffrey Harrell: Serving the Public and Saving Lives
The Coronavirus pandemic showed the whole world what the medical field is really made of. It’s made of passionate, caring, dedicated individuals working towards a common goal: healing and saving lives. The modern heroes of the medical industry come from all walks of life. One exceptional provider, Dr. Jeffrey Harrell, PA-C, transitioned into the medical field as a way to continue saving lives after more than five years of working with our military and government agencies. Now, he’s looking for a new way to help people and serve the public.
Trading Kevlar for Lab Coats
While many young medical professionals face tremendous doubts about their chosen path, Jeff says that he would’ve had an easier time counting the reasons not to pursue medicine. “After the military, I was looking for a way to help people back home,” he explains. “When I began working in medicine, I found that I really loved caring for people, and I was able to make a positive impact on so many lives. It just seemed like a perfect fit.”
The pandemic showed us all just how tough it would be to work in the medical field. Jeff has no misconceptions about the difficulties of his work in medicine, but he meets each day with a positive mindset and a productive attitude. “It can be a really tough job, but it’s incredibly fulfilling. I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” says Jeff.
Words of Wisdom and Warning
Medicine is a capricious path; it frequently changes direction, tightens requirements or regulations, increases in complexity and cost. After such a devastating pandemic, the likes of which the modern world has never seen, it’s only natural to wonder; what’s going to happen to the medical field after COVID?
Jeff sees a turbulent future ahead for healthcare providers. Throughout the pandemic, he watched in disappointment as promises made to frontline workers went unfulfilled. “Many of us were told that we were lucky, that we should simply be glad to still have jobs in the end,” he recalls. The rampant maltreatment and lack of appreciation for American healthcare workers is a widespread issue, and unfortunately, it’s one that he doesn’t see going away any time soon. Despite their education and experience, American healthcare providers are consistently overworked, underpaid, and undervalued.
Jeff believes difficult days lie ahead for providers of all experience levels, as the industry is bogged down by ever-increasing amounts of red tape. This trend towards over-regulation is pushing many veteran doctors away from the industry altogether. As Jeff explains, “Bureaucracy and regulation are starving the medical field and bringing about dangerous levels of inefficiency and inefficacy.”
“The future of the medical field is ambiguous. No one really knows what it’s going to look like when (or if) things ever settle down,” says Jeff, “but peeking through the fog, there are little rays of hope for what’s to come.” Jeff hopes that the current trend towards defensive medicine — which values decisions that protect doctors from liability over those that help patients — will change in favor of a more offensive approach. “We need to focus on giving patients the care they really need, instead of doing just enough to cover our own backs,” he says.
More Than Medicine
Jeff believes you should never keep all your eggs in one basket. That way, when major world events throw your industry into chaos, you still have something cooking on the back burner. Over the years, Jeff has found success in urgent and emergent care, concierge medicine, medical business consulting, real estate consulting, project management, sales, and several more avenues. Many of these areas can overlap with the other, and the experiences Jeff has gained in each are transferable to a broad range of disciplines. “I know, it’s quite the spread,” says Jeff. “They say that a jack of all trades is a master of none, but I’ve never found that to be true. As long as you organize your time, find your niche, set unique goals for yourself, and then put the work in, you can find success in any of your pursuits.”