Dr. Larry C. Ford is a doctor’s doctor. Much of his day is spent advising physicians and other healthcare professionals on the intricacies surrounding infections. As an infectious disease specialist, he understands and treats complicated — and rare — infections that don’t respond to typical treatments.
His time at Utah Valley Hospital is spent avoiding infections and making the hospital less prone to infectious outbreaks — a concern for all doctors.
Doctor dreams “My dad was a doctor, so it was always on the radar. I studied microbiology as an undergrad, and then in medical school there was a small group of students talking about parasites. These guys knew all about them. I found out they were infectious disease guys. and I was drawn to that.”
Helping the helpers “Because infections happen everywhere in the body, I work with physicians in all types of specialties. Part of what I do is give advice to other doctors. Some will call at the outset and others will wait to see how things go with a patient. I get involved whenever the infection is extra bad or not getting better.”
Insomnia culprit “If you want to know what keeps me up at night, it’s antibiotic resistance. The CDC came out a few years ago with a report outlining the threat of a post-antibiotic era. We’re seeing more and more resistant bacteria. Unless things change — meaning new antibiotics and better use of the ones we have — this could be a real concern.”
Keep it clean “I also work with infection control at the hospital. The most effective infection treatment is avoiding it whenever possible. I do a lot educating caregivers, reminding them of the importance of hand washing and other protocols. I enjoy that aspect of the job. I like helping prevent problems instead of just cleaning them up.”
Crucial communication “Most of my interaction with other physicians is them calling me, so they are usually open to my suggestions. However, there are times when we have to have difficult conversations. You have to communicate in a way that will help them understand what we’re looking for. In all areas of medicine, being a good communicator — both listening and also conveying your message — is important and leads to better outcomes.”