Getting to know you: Ralph A. Highshaw, MD

Ralph Haish grew up with an innate love for helping people. At the age of five, he was inspired to become a doctor. His family supported this dream throughout his life, encouraging him to study hard and learn as much as possible about biology, chemistry and physiology.

When Ralph graduated from the University of Southern California, he knew where he wanted to take his medical career. He began a surgical residency in urology and combined his studies to focus on that branch of medicine. Thus, he eventually became part of the MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Oncology and Urology Residency team. He spent most of his life in California, but later moved to other states for his ultimate goal of practicing medicine professionally. After spending time in various states, he fell in love with Florida and settled there.

During his journey to become a medical doctor, Ralph A. Hysho MD understood general well-being better and was inspired to apply this knowledge to every part of his practice. He firmly believes that the application of general wellness will lead the healthcare industry forward and give better results to patients. This belief has led him to engage himself in specific verified clinical trials in the state that show great promise. Among other things, he wrote essays reflecting the benefits of effective integrated medicine.

Nowadays, Ralph A. Highshaw, MD continues to practice medicine, dedicating himself to improving the lives of his patients in a number of ways, from advising on preventive wellness to managing traditional medicine. While not working for the well-being of his patients, Ralph enjoys playing tennis and reading with his wife, family, and friends, as well as spending time with them.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

It was a desire to help patients feel better and better in life. I always hoped to help them reach their best health and feel better than when they first came to see me.

What defines the way you do business?

I treat every patient as a family and treat them the way I want to be treated. I focus on communicating well with them to find out how best to help, as this is the best way to start the process of helping the patient to get better overall.

What can you share in being productive?

In my experience, it’s all a mentality. From a young age, I’ve always been active, and I’ve always been engaged in a lot of things together. I enjoy operating with a high level of power. From a professional standpoint, my productivity stems from working with patients, creating surgical plans, and customizing treatment plans. It takes practice and knowledge to do all this, but my concern for my patients and my love for what I do make all these efforts worthwhile. I always tell myself to make the most of every single day, and to do all my work to the best of my ability.

Say a long-term goal in your career.

My goals are always evolving, but they are always focused on helping patients with their health problems and removing that burden from their lives. If I can do this so that one less thing they are concerned about, there is a better chance that they will find good habits that they will maintain to improve their health.

How do you measure success?

I measure my success in terms of happiness, which I define by overcoming obstacles and achieving a specific goal. Life presents many challenges as I pursue my goals, from spending time with family to being a good husband, father and friend to being the best possible doctor for my patients. Any time I can overcome one of these challenges, I feel successful.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned through your career?

The most valuable lesson I have learned is to handle what is in front of me – be it a patient or any other kind of problem – before moving on to the next item of business. For the sake of argument, suppose the problem in question relates to the patient. If I don’t get it right, their problem will still be there, so I believe it’s best to take the time and try to solve it properly in their interest. As a doctor, I would feel good about it and the patient would feel good too.

What advice would you give to others who are aspiring to be successful in your case?

Manage yourself as professionally as possible and be the best practitioner you can for patients in your field. In order to keep pace with the changes in medicine as science progresses, you need to acknowledge the need for constant evolution and study. Doing so will allow you to provide the best care for your patients.

What are some of your favorite things outside of work?

I am a very active person. Exercise helps me stay mentally focused. In particular, I enjoy playing tennis. Playing tennis ultimately helps me manage patients and my own family better, as a result of the rejuvenation I feel after a good game match or practice session. I also enjoy reading books that improve my mind and challenge me to be a better person.

How would your colleagues describe you?

Okay, I’ll leave it up to my colleagues, but I’ve been told I’m a good doctor based on their references. It all comes down to how you want to treat others.

How do you balance a difficult work life?

It’s something I’ve always been working on. To be the best physician possible for my patients it involves a combination of family, exercise and study. Sometimes, one of these elements takes more time and effort than the other, but I always go back to evaluating where that balance is to make sure I don’t prioritize one over the other. I have a wonderful wife who helps me keep up with this.

What is the part of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?

It’s an old device, but it’s really common: pen and paper. From an early age, I was always writing things down to plan what I wanted to do. And throughout my life, it has been a means of organizing my thoughts and actions to prepare a battle plan for what I want to achieve. It leads to a better mindset, focuses better and gives me a better advantage of setting an activity to achieve my goals. When it comes to writing what you want to do, the first step is to make it real.

What is the hardest obstacle you have overcome?

I would say that achieving career balance is the most difficult obstacle I have overcome in my career. My wonderful wife will prove that. We’ve kept a great balance over the last few years based on what he told me, but for a while in the early part of our relationship, I would just work and my family life would suffer. Now, I hear more, my family and myself. It’s easy to overdo it one way or the other, so you have to be careful and observe things to achieve balance in the long run.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

You can always improve yourself, no matter what. Progress is progress, no matter how small it may seem at the moment. Progress increases over time. Stay in the present. Tomorrow is always there.

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