Meet Dr. Cassie Majestic, Emergency Doctor in Southern California. Dr. Majestic shares a life-saving experience along with overcoming fears, and her ability to communicate with patients.
Sam: Thank you for taking the time to be featured. Would you please share with our audience why you chose to become an MD, particularly in the ER?
Dr. Cassie Majestic: I was always fascinated by how the body works, and when I was a kid if anyone had an injury, I’d be the first to investigate and get up close & personal. It seemed like I was born to be a doctor and I never looked back as I completed my schooling. I chose Emergency Medicine because I love a fast paced, ever-changing work environment that challenges me on a daily basis. My mind is never bored, as I run from one patient to the next, all of them different, having to differentiate who is sick, potentially sick, and who can go home. The Emergency Department is a unique place that supports multitasking as an art and relies on strong teamwork between each healthcare provider at all times. The bond I have with my work family is unlike no other, as we see life, death, and all the in betweens together. I have a flexible schedule that allows me to pursue my hobbies and love for travel. Most of all, through my job in the Emergency Department, I have learned to have a true appreciation for life and my time off with loved ones, as no day is promised.
Sam: That’s terrific! What has been the most challenging aspect of your career in Emergency Medicine?
Dr. Cassie Majestic: The most challenging aspect of my career has been learning how to communicate with, and treat patients with so many different personalities and expectations, all the while being awake all night, or having minimal time off to restore my own mental and physical state. Approaching each patient with the importance of the last, even if I had a bad day or didn’t get much sleep, is crucial in Emergency Medicine to avoid mistakes and a negative experience for the patient. Much of our world in medicine now is related to the customer experience, even in an industry where this should not be the priority. Learning how to navigate my job of life saving and triaging while identifying if patients are sick, not sick, or could potentially be sick, has become much broader to include ensuring the “customer” is happy.
Being in this environment has taught me that a positive attitude can make or break your own experience, and the experience of others. Having to make decisions and knowing how to educate and explain my thoughts & recommendations to so many different types of people, has made me more capable of being successful in this career.
Sam: Being in your field has to be full of action. Has there been a particular incident that has stuck with you?
Dr. Cassie Majestic: It was a busy night in the Emergency Department on July 4th, 2014. I was almost done with my first year of Emergency Medicine training, but I was just getting into my groove as a physician. We had injury after injury, most related to fireworks, piling up in the department, and we were all exhausted. I was anxious for my shift to end, when a middle aged man came into a bed struggling to breathe.
I assessed him myself, as my supervisor was busy, and I noticed I couldn’t hear breath sounds on one side of his chest, indicating a collapsed lung. I thought to myself, "this is not the ideal night to come in with a spontaneous medical problem,"given all the firework trauma we were already dealing with. I called for my supervisor but he was busy, so I had to fend for myself with this patient, knowing full well that he needed a chest tube inserted to re-inflate his lung. It was my first chest tube on a patient. I didn’t want to do it alone but I knew how and I had no choice, as he was becoming unstable. I was super uncomfortable, as I am the type of person who wants to 100% know what I’m doing before I do it. However, I relied on my training and the fact that without me this guy would soon be dead, and overcame my fears. He (we) did just fine.
Physically the procedure is not hard. Mentally, all I saw were road blocks. I became very good at becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. This moment helped me realize that thinking won’t overcome fear, but action will.
Now, I know all of you reading this are not in the medical field, but it applies to you too. Conquer your fears, time and time again, and soon you will have the belief in yourself that you never would have had before. Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Sam: What an inspiring story & great advice. Finally, you also have a successful blog full of tips & the Majestic Mantra. Why did you create it and what do you love about it?
Dr. Cassie Majestic: I created my blog and social media accounts because I felt a burning desire to give more. I was already a physician, educating in my daily job, but I wanted to interact with others on a global level. It started out as a hobby, where I thought I would educate people about health and medical topics. What I didn’t expect was for it to grow into a community of like-minded individuals who were looking for inspiration.
Through my years of school and training, I was pushed to my limits mentally, physically, and emotionally. I had to figure out how to work towards a happy and grateful life, while experiencing tragedy in a demanding and challenging career. What I learned over the years is something I want to share with all who are looking to become successful in life. I want to inspire, educate, and elevate others’ lives through my experiences, and show the world that you can have it all in life, you just have to live with intention and know what “having it all” means to you.
Disclaimer: All Photos provided courtesy of Dr. Cassie Majestic. Potential minor edits for length, flow, grammatical/formatting.
NEXT: If you enjoyed this article, please read our interview with former assistant AZ Attorney General Gordana Mikalacki