As a teenager, Dr. Steven E. Call would often get asked who his father was by his friends’ parents and other adults. One day he was doing a project at a classmate’s house and they brought up the common question. When he told them his father was the rheumatologist Dr. Richard Call, they teared up and said, “Your dad saved our mom.”
Seeing the profound difference his father made in people’s lives led Dr. Call to consider joining the family business. When Dr. Call announced to his father that he had decided to study medicine, his father’s response was a very honest, “I don’t care.” It wasn’t that he was disinterested or apathetic about his son’s career path — he just didn’t want any pressure or expectation to direct his son’s life.
As a result, Dr. Steven Call joined medicine with the pure intention to help people — and so did his brothers Kevin and Matt. All three practice in Utah Valley.
Managing expectations “In our field, uncertainty is common. It’s one of the things I had to get used to in my training. I help my patients get used to it as well. But it’s tough. About 15-20 percent of our patients leave the office with no firm diagnosis. We certainly try to provide everybody who comes to our office with options that could help them even if we don’t know exactly what’s going on. Most physicians don’t like uncertainty. That’s why there aren’t many rheumatologists.”
Making connections “Getting around uncertainty is about developing a connection and saying, ‘Hey, if I can help, I will.’ I want my patients to believe I want to help. How we help our patients be OK with uncertainty is to first be OK with uncertainty ourselves and then develop a caring, compassionate connection.”
Community at large “We have some of the best physicians in the country. It’s a combination of work ethic and compassion. They aren’t all perfect — don’t get me wrong. But by and large we have magnificent physicians, perhaps because of their upbringing. Most people who come here as physicians have some tie to Utah. Utah produces magnificent physicians for some reason.”