While studying biochemistry at BYU, Dr. Greg C. Chipman planned to become a professor and spend his life researching. While working in the campus laboratory one evening, Dr. Chipman realized he wasn’t a fan of lonely, late-night labs.
“I really didn’t mind the hard work and the night-time hours,” Dr. Chipman says. “But I thought, ‘If I have to work in the middle of the night, I don’t want to be in the laboratory. I want to be with people and have interactions like they do at a hospital.’ So I decided to go to medical school.”
Now Dr. Chipman uses both his medical and biochemical expertise to treat cancer patients. Best case scenario: He treats a patient, he or she gets better and never needs to see him again. Whether his patients experience “best case” or otherwise, Dr. Chipman supports his patients during their life-altering diagnosis.
Making connections “I knew I wanted to be involved with really sick patients in some of the hardest times. When we go through intense experiences with others, we get tight in a short period of time. Going through cancer is really hard for patients, so I’m able to forge close relationships with my patients pretty quickly.”
Community at large “The health community in Utah Valley is very collegial. It’s easy to work well with different specialties here. Everybody communicates better in Utah County than other places I’ve been. It’s collaborative.”
Managing expectations “I try to be upfront and honest with people about what’s going on and what to expect with their disease. That’s hard, though. There are some patients I connect with and they hear what I’m saying. Then with others I say the words and they’re listening, but they don’t actually hear what’s going on.”
Think positive “I remind myself that if I wasn’t involved with my patients, it would not keep them from having to go through cancer. I feel it’s morally selfish of me to say, ‘It’s so hard, I can’t be involved in it with you.’ If me not being involved made it so people wouldn’t have to go through it, I would separate myself and nobody would get sick. But that’s not the case. I can offer to the world my ability to help people.”