Heart to Heart with Anna

Interwoven Lives and Congenital Heart Defects

August 13, 2019 Brandon Lane Phillips, M.D. Season 14 Episode 11
Heart to Heart with Anna
Interwoven Lives and Congenital Heart Defects
Chapters
Heart to Heart with Anna
Interwoven Lives and Congenital Heart Defects
Aug 13, 2019 Season 14 Episode 11
Brandon Lane Phillips, M.D.

Brandon Lane Phillips, M.D. is a very special doctor -- he's a pediatric cardiologist who was also born with a severe congenital heart defect -- tetralogy of Fallot. In this episode of "Heart to Heart with Anna," Brandon talks to Anna about the people who have come in and out of his life and who have helped to shape him into the person he is today. He shares his medical journey with Anna, as well as his educational struggles and how he was able to overcome his learning disability to achieve his dream of becoming a pediatric cardiologist.

To purchase Dr. Phillip's book, use this link: https://tinyurl.com/y5grtz7v

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Show Notes Transcript

Brandon Lane Phillips, M.D. is a very special doctor -- he's a pediatric cardiologist who was also born with a severe congenital heart defect -- tetralogy of Fallot. In this episode of "Heart to Heart with Anna," Brandon talks to Anna about the people who have come in and out of his life and who have helped to shape him into the person he is today. He shares his medical journey with Anna, as well as his educational struggles and how he was able to overcome his learning disability to achieve his dream of becoming a pediatric cardiologist.

To purchase Dr. Phillip's book, use this link: https://tinyurl.com/y5grtz7v

Please take a moment to follow us on your preferred social media platforms:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/heart-to-heart-with-anna/id1132261435?mt=2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HearttoHeartwithAnna/

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGPKwIU5M_YOxvtWepFR5Zw

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hugpodcastnetwork/

If you enjoy this program and would like to be a Patron, please check out our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/HeartToHeart

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/HearttoHeart)

spk_1:   0:00
you know, and the thing that really makes it super special is they have just kept reappearing time and time again in my life and really kind of a turning points in my life, which really just took me back to that childhood prayer and was just a reminder that God loves me and he has a purpose for the things that I've endured in life.

spk_0:   0:27
Welcome to heart to heart With Anna, I am Enna, Gorski and the host of this program. We are in our 14th season, and we're happy you're here with us today. Braid Elaine Phillips is an author and pediatric cardiologists with tetralogy of fellow. As a child of the eighties, he loved sitcoms and yearned for the kind of close relationship with his father that he often saw on television. In reality, Brandon often felt isolated and worried about the impact of his heart condition on his family, particularly on his parents, divorced when he was five years of age at the age of 11 fate intervened when the Starlight Foundation granted Brandon his wish to meet child actor Jeremy Miller from his favorite television program. Growing pains they're meeting had a profound effect on Brandon and gave him the strength to persevere in life. Brandon also greatly admired his pediatric cardiologists and achieved his medical degree despite having a learning disability and the need for additional surgery. Breathing credits his success to fate and faith and is here today to talk about how his experiences have enabled him to help others. Today show features Heart Worrier brand Elaine Phillips and our episode is entitled If tha woven lives and congenital heart defects will go too hard to heart rate. The anti branded

spk_1:   1:43
I am so Happy to Be Here with you today.

spk_0:   1:45
Well, I am so happy to meet you. I read your book and I just can't wait for us to get into the interview.

spk_1:   1:52
Absolutely, I've been looking forward to This is Well,

spk_0:   1:54
great. Well, let's start by talking about your diagnosis and your surgical history. What surgical procedures have you had?

spk_1:   2:03
Well, when I was first born in the physician's heard a murmur when I left the hospital and they told my mom they thought everything would be okay that lead to a heart catheterization in the first weeks of life in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. So when I was first born. The doctors heard a murmur. Before I left the hospital, my mom was told that they thought everything would be okay, but additional testing was needed. I was taken to Baton Rouge for a heart cath that shortly thereafter and was diagnosed with tetralogy of flow. I had my first open heart surgery at two years of age at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, and Doctor didn't. Cooley, a famous surgeon, was who performed the operation.

spk_0:   2:44
That's just amazing, his world renowned for their surgeries that he has done in the past.

spk_1:   2:51
One of the gifts my mom gave me when I was in college was a book that she had gotten When I had my surgery. It was called World's Greatest Surgeon, and it was about Denton Cooley. And during my residency I was able to take that book to him and get him to autograph it in the trash can. But he was very happy to autograph it for me, and it's one of my most priced possessions.

spk_0:   3:12
Yes, it would be for me, too, and I've seen he wrote another book called 10,000 Hearts. Have you seen that?

spk_1:   3:18
I have seen that I have not had a chance to read it.

spk_0:   3:21
Yeah, I want to read that someday. I have it ready yet either brace in my library. So I'm sorry to interrupt you. It's just phenomenal that you had denting coolly as your surgeon and clearly he did a fabulous job because here you are today talking to us about it.

spk_1:   3:36
Absolutely. My grandmother actually had open heart surgery and her nineties at ST Luke's Hospital, and I saw on the door next to hers. Dr Cooley. So, of course, being interested in pediatric cardiology, I had to stop by the nurse's station and inquire. Was that one of Dr Cooley sons? And I was told, No, that's actually Dr Cooley. So later that day, one of his nurses actually came by my grandmother's room and took me down to his clinic, where I got to meet him as an adult, which was phenomenal.

spk_0:   4:04
Oh, my gosh, that's awesome! Did you get a picture with him?

spk_1:   4:07
I didn't get a picture of that time, but when I returned to Texas Children's Hospital is a resident. I was able to get a picture with him and my childhood pediatric cardiologist.

spk_0:   4:16
Oh, my goodness. I hope you sure there's with me so I can share them with our audience with our listeners?

spk_1:   4:22
I say you several picture files, and I think it should be in the file I sent you.

spk_0:   4:26
Oh, great. Great. Okay, So you had surgery at two. That's correct. Is that the only surgery you've had?

spk_1:   4:34
Well, during childhood, I had a few heart calves. You know, back when I was a child, echocardiogram was not readily available to diagnose things and follow up. So occasionally we would have to have heart casts. But I didn't have open heart surgery again until 2001. When I started medical school at Tulane. One of the physicians who had read my admissions essays noticed I had tetralogy of flow. He thought medical school, Maybe a little bit stressful for me. Yes. You wanted me to meet the pediatric cardiologists at tooling. I thought that was just going to meet him to maybe have coffee and discuss a future career in pediatric cardiology. I know that he was gonna recommend having an echocardiogram there with him because he was curious if I had a pulmonary valve or not. Oh, wow. And from that he made the recommendation that I needed to leave medical school and go have open heart surgery at Mayo Clinic to replace my pulmonary valve. Unbelievable. I had just seen my doctor in Houston. Let's go to New Orleans, go to medical school and have fun.

spk_0:   5:39
Oh, no. So now you have two different opinions. What did you decide to do?

spk_1:   5:46
So I called my doctor in Houston to say, Hey, this just happened on my second day of medical school, and I received a phone call back, But when he called back, he left a message. He just said, Hey, Brandon, this is Tom. I didn't know him. Is Tom.

spk_0:   6:00
Oh, no,

spk_1:   6:03
he was Dr War ago. He was right. So let me a few days to even return his phone call. Oh, my gosh. But when I talked to him, he gave me some of the best advice I ever had in medical school. He told me that medicine is great and it's not black and white. And the two physicians could look at the same set of data and come to two completely different decisions on how to best manage a patient. So he agreed to send my medical information to Mayo Clinic. In fact, he told me he had trained several of the physicians there, and he knew exactly who descended to. And they came back with the recommendation that I should have open heart surgery between my first and second year of medical school. And that's what I did. I went to Mayo Clinic for my second open heart surgery. Interestingly, I did by pediatric residency at Texas Children's Hospital, where Dr Borgo served as my academic advisor and I did by pediatric cardiology fellowship with my physicians at Mayo Clinic.

spk_0:   6:59
When I read about that in your book, I thought, How perfect is that? I mean, how exciting for those doctors to see one of their patients come back and join them as a professional? I just think that's a fabulous story.

spk_1:   7:13
It was so much fun to be there with him. When I started at Mayo Clinic, we had normal case conferences, and I arrived early to the very first case conference because I want to make sure I could find the location when I was sitting there. The surgeon, Dr Puga, who had done my surgery when I was a medical student, came and said a few chairs away from me, and he helped looking at me all throughout the conference. Finally, at the conference, he asked me, Here's why do I feel like I know you? And I just responded. Doctor Puga, you've seen parts of me I've never seen.

spk_0:   7:50
Hey, remember after you said that

spk_1:   7:53
he did, I'd actually spent some time. There was a visiting medical student my fourth year of medical school, and I didn't think that he remembered me until one day I was sitting there in the pediatric fellows area doing some computer work, and he came to the door. He said, Can you come with me? Dr. Puga had asked me to speak to this young lady and her family as a patient. He just wanted me to share my experience of going through the procedure with her and what she could expect. Wow!

spk_4:   8:20
Takes this hot industry. We're offering us a mechanical hot, and he said, now that I've had enough to give it to someone worthy, my father promised me, a golden dressed twirling held my hand and asked me where I wanted to go. Whatever strive for conflict that we experienced in our long career together was always healed by humor.

spk_5:   8:41
Heart to Heart With Michael Please join us every Thursday at noon, Eastern as we talk with people from around the world who have experienced those most difficult moments tonight forever by the Baby Blue Sound collective. I think what I love so much about this CD is that some of the songs were inspired by the patient's many listeners will understand many of the different songs and what they've been inspired by. Our new album will be available on iTunes. Amazon dot com. Spotify I love the fact that the proceeds from this CD are actually going to help those with heart defects. Enjoy music Home Tonight Forever Good.

spk_2:   9:34
You are listening to heart to heart with Anna. If you have a question or comment that you would like to address the show, please send an email to Anna Dworsky at Anna at heart to heart with anna dot com. That's Anna at heart to heart with anna dot com Now back to heart to heart with

spk_0:   9:53
Brandon Before the break, we were talking about your heart defect and the surgical procedures you've had and how you went full circle. You went for being the patient to actually working with the doctors who operated on you and then even helping other patients who had the same heart defect that you did, which I just think is beautiful story. But right now I just want to focus on your cardiologists. Tell me about the relationship you have with your cardiologists and how that relationship has shaped your education and your professional life.

spk_1:   10:24
So Dr Tom Vargo was my pediatric cardiologists at Texas Children's Hospital, and I didn't have to go see him every year. We went about every two years to see him, But I would always get so excited to go to the hospital to get to see him if I would see him in the cafeteria of the whole way. I just got super excited. It was almost like I was going to see my own personal rock store. He just meant so much to me. He called me his friend during visits, which always just made me feel very comfortable with him from an early age. I knew that I wanted to be a physician like him and knew that I wanted to come back and work with him and I even shared that with him at a very young age. When I was 11 years old, I had a heart cath, and I asked him if I could stay awake during the procedure so he could actually start teaching.

spk_0:   11:07
Oh, my goodness. What did he say?

spk_1:   11:12
He was initially shocked, but he ultimately agreed to it. And then he told my mom that I asked too many questions.

spk_5:   11:17
No

spk_0:   11:20
said that made the procedure take a lot longer.

spk_1:   11:23
It did. Eventually, he'd put a nurse there beside me, said that she could explain to me what was going on and what he was doing.

spk_0:   11:29
Uh, okay, well, that was a good solution.

spk_1:   11:32
It sounds like I had everything mapped out, but honestly is an 11 year old. I wanted to be a pediatric cardiologists on the day, but on the weekends I wanted to work at Ash Rural, which was the amusement park.

spk_5:   11:44
That sounds

spk_0:   11:44
about right. That's that's okay. I think it's beautiful that you felt so comfortable with your cardiologists that he considered you a friend and he made you not terrified of the procedures because one thing you hear so much about is patients who have PTSD. They're afraid of needles are afraid of procedures. It sounds to me like that wasn't the case with you?

spk_1:   12:10
No, not really. I was really worried before the procedure that someone was gonna slip me some medication to put me to sleep. It didn't really necessarily think he was actually go through and keep his side of the promise that I could stay awake. So I was very careful to ask. Even 11. What are you giving me? And what does it do?

spk_0:   12:26
Wow. Well, that was very perceptive of you that the grown ups might slip something that you didn't want. But I'm glad to see that they were faithful to their word to you.

spk_1:   12:38
They were. And I used to write to Dr Borgo. Between my appointments, I would kind of give him maybe a little update with what was going on. But mostly, I would write to him about school projects and ask himto semi x ray images and different things that I could share with my class. And he was always very willing to do that for me. And he would often send little notes with the material that he sent kind of explaining it to me so that I could explain that to my classmates.

spk_0:   13:01
Wow. So from a very young age, you were your own advocate and you were teaching other people about control Heart disease?

spk_1:   13:09
Yeah, that's very true.

spk_0:   13:11
Wow, Talk to me about what role an impact faith has had on your cardiology issues.

spk_1:   13:18
Faith has always been a very important part of my life. As a kid, I remember Mom telling me that she took me before the church and had them pray over me before my first surgery and dedicate my life back to God

spk_3:   13:30
s.

spk_1:   13:30
So I've always had a sense that I had a purpose and plan in my life. Mom often told me growing up that God placed more in my head than he did in my heart. That he made up for what he missed in my heart by giving me extra smarts was kind of bombs way of helping me cope with the fact that I built first grade and I was tested for special education and kindergarten. I struggled for a long time, really feeling that I was bright over time. Mom and I found kind of special ways to study and that really, really helped me along with that.

spk_0:   14:06
But it sounds like the fact that she told you that God gave you intelligence, maybe helped you to not be afraid that she weren't as smart as you wanted to be. Is that right? I

spk_1:   14:19
definitely think so. I remember when I was in fifth grade I just really got to this point where I was a little depressed. It's like, well wanted God allow me to be born with a heart defect And I really blamed my heart condition for breaking up my family. And I just got to the point where I just prayed, God, if you love me, show me that you love me. And ultimately, that prayer was answered in a way that I wasn't expecting. At the same time, I had been granted a wish by the store like Children's Foundation, and as part of that wish, they asked me if I could go anywhere, have anything, do anything, what would I want to do? And my wish was to meet Jeremy Miller from TV's growing pains. So when I went to the set that day, I wasn't expecting anything about my prayer. But Jeremy's first or second question he was, Where do I go to church?

spk_0:   15:07
Really now, Did that surprise you?

spk_1:   15:11
It did it because I'm like, How did he know to ask me that? How did he know what was on my mind? Later that evening, I got pulled aside on the set of growing pains by Kirk Cameron, who was his older brother on the show. Now I sell. Kirk's character is a bit of a troublemaker. Kirk was a little bit older, and as an 11 year old, he wasn't really who I was going to meet. But yet Kirk pulled me aside and told me that God had a plan for my life and a purpose for my life. And I really left the set of the T V show that evening feeling that God had orchestrated my wish as an answer to my prayer.

spk_0:   15:45
Isn't that special,

spk_1:   15:48
you know, and the thing that really makes it super special is they have just kept reappearing time and time again in my life and really kind of a turning points in my life, which really just took me back to that childhood prayer and was just a reminder that God loves me and he has a purpose for the things that I've endured in life.

spk_0:   16:06
And I love how you wrote about that in your book. For those of you who are listening and you're interested. Brandon did write abut called When I Wished upon a star from broken homes to mended hearts. And I believe you can get that book on amazon dot com. Is that right, Brandon?

spk_1:   16:21
That's correct. You can buy it on Amazon.

spk_0:   16:24
Yes, and he goes into even more detail in his book. It's a Beautiful Story, and what I Love About It is how you talked about how yours and Jeremy's lives were into rovin throughout your life as well as your doctors, which was really, really special. It seems like all throughout your life, you've had this very detailed tapestry of people who have come in and out at various times, just when you needed them.

spk_1:   16:50
Absolutely. When I had my open heart surgery at Mayo Clinic is a medical student. When one of the physicians who worked there came to do my discharge echo, she and I began talking. One of the questions I had for her was, Where did you train? She trained at Texas Children's with my physician, Dr Borgo. And before she left the room, I asked her to be my Mayo Clinic cardiologist just because we had hit it off just from that connection. A few years later, as I was doing one of my clerks ships in Alexandria, I walked into the hospital and I saw Welcome Dr David Cable, and what was interesting about that is all of my discharge medications from Mayo Clinic were written by a Dr David cable. But I didn't remember meeting him while I was there. So then the hut was owned to find people and find out. Did he work at Mayo at one point in Time discovered that he had been the fellow who had done my surgery with Dr Puga.

spk_0:   17:45
Wow, isn't that amazing?

spk_1:   17:48
Here I am in Alexandria, Louisiana, which is 45 minutes away from my hometown, And this guy had done surgery on me all the way in Minnesota, and AARP has crossed. And in fact, my first experience in the operating room where I got to see an open heart surgery myself was with Dr Cable there in Alexandria.

spk_0:   18:04
Wow, that's just amazing. Especially when you consider that as a child you actually had challenges academically. What did you talk to us a little bit about some of the challenges that you faced academically.

spk_1:   18:20
Well, my parents separated on my fifth birthday right before I began kindergarten, and I was tested for special education in kindergarten. And I ultimately felt first grade because they didn't think that I read at the level that I should. My mom moved me to a different school district. She was afraid that I would be labeled a slow and she wanted to give me the best chance. But also she was working nights as a correctional officer. So by changing school districts, I could stay with my grandmother until she was able to get off work around midnight. Then she would pick me up dr. About 15 miles home, just to wake me up at six o'clock in the morning to get me back to Grandma's in time to catch the school bus.

spk_0:   18:58
That is such dedication. I mean, your mom deserves huge props

spk_1:   19:03
so often along the way she would call out homework to me as she was driving me back to school, and I began to do better in school, but I didn't start to do really, really well in school until after my wish. My wish just gave me a lot of hope. If I could go from my little town in Louisiana to meet my favorite stars in Hollywood, then to me anything was possible at that point.

spk_4:   19:26
Hi, my name's Jamie Al Croft, and I just published my new book, The Tin Man Diaries. It's an amazing story of my sudden change of heart as I went through a heart liver transplant. I can think of no better way to read The Tin Man diaries than to cuddle up in your favorite hearts. Unite the Globe sweatshirt and your favorite hot beverage, of course, in your hearts Unite Blow mug, both of which are available. The Hug podcast network, online store or visit Hearts Unite theglobe dot

spk_5:   19:57
tthe heart to heart with Emma is a presentation of Hearts Unite the Globe and is part of the Hug Podcast Network Hearts Unite The Globe is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing resources to the congenital heart defect community to uplift and power and enrich the lives of our community members. If you would like access to free resource is pretending to the CHD community. Please visit our website at www congenital heart defects dot com for information about CHD, the hospitals that treat Children with CHD summer camps for CHD survivors and much, much more.

spk_0:   20:36
Brandon Before the break, we had just started to talk about how that wish that you had with Jeremy Miller on growing pains, built up your self confidence and made you feel like God had a mission for you. God had a plan for you, and you started to do better academically. Tell me how you handled having a learning disability in college and in medical school because things are stepped up a lot. When you get to that level of education, what resource is did you utilize?

spk_1:   21:06
So in college, I did really well in math based classes like calculus and physics and chemistry. Those classes came very, very easily to me. What I struggled with were classes where there were outside reading like history and literature. But I would ask my friends who had gone before me, who to take for certain classes. I will try to identify which classes had the least amount of outside reading so that I could best use my skill set. I was an auditory learner, even though I had not been diagnosed with my learning disability. At that point, I knew that I did better by hearing things. So for one of my literature classes, I actually found a professor that would read to us in class, discussed the material, and the only test that he gave was a quiz at the beginning of the next class, about the material that he had discussed in the previous class. And that just worked very, very well with my strengths at Tulane, in medical school, they had a policy. That class was not mandatory. We didn't have to attend class, which kind of freed up a lot of time for me to go to the library with one of my good friends, and we would read over the notes, sets and medical school. They typed the notes for us and put them in the mailbox, and we just picked up the notes set. So we had a transcript of what was said in class, and we would review those notes, sets and quiz each other over it. It was very much like studying with my mom when I was a kid, where I laid on the floor and she called things out to me. But I learned off so that way, so that I chose to go tooling, and they really understood that everyone's way of learning. It's a little bit different

spk_0:   22:35
that is so special. What I read about that in the book, I thought, Wow, that really shows how that university was willing to work with students with all kinds of learning styles. And sometimes you don't see that sometimes you see where the schools expect everyone to fit in a certain pattern which wouldn't have worked for you.

spk_1:   22:54
It would not, I think one of the things I struggled with in medical school with standardized test If there was a time test that was standardized, I always had difficulty with it because I didn't read through the material fast enough, and my internal medicine clerkship director Dr Ledoux, was a adult court geologist. She also knew that I had congenital heart disease and had open heart surgery in medical school. In fact, during one of or course is she asked me to come forward and demonstrate an abnormal electrocardiogram for my classmates so they could see an example of an abnormal electrocardiogram. When I didn't perform as well as Dr LeDoux thought I should Onley standardized exam after the internal medicine clerkship, she pulled me aside and started asking questions about my educational history. And from that, when I told her I had felt first grade and I had difficulty reading alone and that my standardized scores and reading were always much less than my mass scores, she told me that a lot of patients with congenital heart disease also have learning disabilities, and she recommended strongly that I get tested. Of course, I was a little hesitant to do so. I was the medical student who had had open heart surgery in medical school. I also did not want to be the one who needed extra time on exams because they couldn't read well too. Yeah, but Dr Ledoux offered to pay for the testing herself, and she was very insistent that I haven't done stating that one day I may need the extra time on test and it was just worthwhile doing, and they ultimately diagnosed me with a reading. Learning disability in my third year of medical school

spk_0:   24:33
is that not just amazing that nobody picked up on that before then.

spk_1:   24:37
I think I put so much effort and energy into school that I had found ways to compensate for that disability, even though in my heart I knew something wasn't right. Like I knew it took me longer to do homework that my classmates in the gifted program. In fact, many of them used to tease me about taking all of my books home with me. I knew that the effort that I put in was not proportional to what Fabian, but I understand why

spk_0:   25:01
interesting and your mom wasn't willing for you to be labeled. So it's not like you had that at the beginning of your life, for you kind of anticipated it.

spk_1:   25:11
No, not at all. And you know, really it in my math based classes, I did really well it in several of my college calculus classes and even college physics. I had 100 average in the class, so I didn't really so at some subjects. And then that other subjects I just had to work a lot harder to get the A that I wanted.

spk_0:   25:29
Yeah, well, what advice would you give to families who have Children or even young adults who are facing some of these challenges once they get older and they get into classes that are much more complex. Well,

spk_1:   25:42
I think first of all, it's important to realize that congenital heart disease and learning disabilities do go hand in hand and that if you do have a congenital heart disease, you may also have a learning disability. So I would encourage these families to not be reluctant toe have their Children tested because if they can have help or special accommodations for exams, I don't think there's any shame in that. It took me a long time to get to that point. It actually took me filling my pediatric cardiology boards the first time that I took the exam. To come to that realization that meeting extra time on a test doesn't mean that I'm not as smart as everyone else. I just need extra time to show people that I'm competent, and I possess the knowledge to answer the questions correctly.

spk_0:   26:25
Exactly. Just because you needed a little bit of extra time on the test did not mean that you weren't going to be a great doctor

spk_1:   26:32
It took me a long time to realize that I was really afraid of how my medical school classmates would perceive me needing extra time on a test. I really let my pride get in the way of utilising what I needed. Toe really excel.

spk_0:   26:45
Yeah, I think that's very common, though, don't you? There's a certain expectation when you're a man that you've got it all together.

spk_1:   26:53
You know, my mom didn't want me to be labeled with any type of learning disability, so she was very reluctant. Even in medical school, she wasn't willing to accept that I had a problem had done well in college. I had done well in high school, so it really was a little bit confusing at first. How could I have a learning disability and do so well?

spk_0:   27:10
Wow, so your mom didn't really think that you needed that extra time?

spk_1:   27:16
She didn't until she saw the difference between my scores on the board is the first time I took them, and when I took them with the accommodations, it was actually the first time throughout medical school on a standardized exam that I beat the average I actually scored near the top quartile.

spk_0:   27:31
Wow. So that was significant.

spk_1:   27:34
It was a significant difference just to have a little extra time on the test.

spk_0:   27:38
Okay, I like it that you have said this because I think some people feel that if they need accommodations, that means there's something wrong with them, and I don't think it means that at all. Of course, my faithful listeners all know that I was a special education teacher. So I have a different perspective on accommodations, and I know from having worked with kids like you who had learning disabilities, that that didn't mean that they weren't able. They're just differently able. And you can't make one test that is going to test every single person to their strengths and by just giving some people a little bit of extra time, or perhaps being able to sit someplace where it's quieter. In there are less distractions that plays to that person's strength. And so I don't think there's any shame in being given some accommodations to just let each person perform to the best of their ability.

spk_1:   28:29
Right? And when I was a medical school, Dr Ledoux told me she was Brandon, you're gonna be an excellent pediatric cardiologist one day. But we don't want one test to be rail everything that you've done throughout your education.

spk_0:   28:41
That was brilliant. That was really, really great advice for her to give to you. So did that make it more palatable for you to go ahead and accept the accommodations?

spk_1:   28:53
It made him more palatable to take the testing. But throughout medical school, I still didn't use the accommodations. I didn't ask to use the accommodations until I felt the pediatric cardiology boards. But at that point it's like it's really being silly not to use it if I need it. And I could go back and see all my A C T scores. The first time I took them, I scored in the lowest quartile for reading. I worked really hard at it and ultimately did well on the A C T. But it took a lot of effort on my part to do so. But it was really interesting to me to see the difference in my scores with the accommodation and without the accommodation.

spk_0:   29:27
So let me ask you now you're the pediatric cardiologist. Do you have patients that you see who you think? Wow, I bet this child would do better if he had or she had some accommodations.

spk_1:   29:39
I do, and I encourage my family's toe, have their Children tested. And I think sharing that I had felt first grade and that I ultimately needed accommodations, I think it makes it a little bit more palatable for my patients. Families.

spk_0:   29:53
I love it that you're willing to share that with them because that must make it so much more. I don't know, heartwarming to them that their doctor also went through this. I mean, I'm sure they take your advice so much more seriously because you really know where they're coming from.

spk_1:   30:09
Absolutely. And I think one of the things I try to do if I know a kid has felt a great I usually share with them that I felt first grade because it lets them know that they can still achieve their dreams. So I try to encourage them to just continue to do their best in school and chase their dreams.

spk_0:   30:25
Oh, I chess love that. Thank you so much for coming on the program today and talking to us about how important it is to savor the people in our lives and to savor those relationships that we forge with people throughout our lives.

spk_1:   30:41
Thank you for having me. It's been great being here with you today. I really enjoyed this.

spk_0:   30:45
Oh, I have to. This has been so much fun. Friends. If you've enjoyed this episode of heart to heart with Anna as much as I have, please consider becoming a patron of our program for the cause of a pizza, you could be a patron for an entire year. We have all kinds of benefits. For those of you who would like to support the program, just head on over to patri on That's p A T r e o n dot com slash heart to heart, and you'll be able to learn more about how you can be part of our team that concludes this episode of heart to heart with Anna. Thanks for listening today, my friends, and remember, you are not alone.

spk_2:   31:20
Thank you again for joining us this week way Hope you have been inspired on. Empowered to become an advocate for the congenital heart defect community. Heart to heart with Anna With your hose down, Dworsky can be heard every Tuesday at 12 noon eastern time.