Dan Doornink is a general internist at Memorial Cornerstone Medicine. After playing college football at Washington State University, Dan was drafted by the New York Giants and then moved to the Seattle Seahawks; playing eight years in the NFL while simultaneously attending Medical School. He firmly believes in "straight talk," speaking honestly with his patients, creating an action plan and letting people know what to expect. Outside of work, Dan spends time with his wife and four kids in addition to doing medical malpractice consultant work.
What inspired you to choose medicine as a career?
I think I decided that I'd like to be a doctor around the age of six. My dad was a doctor and so he took us to the hospital and on house calls so that's the only thing I ever wanted to do.
Do you have a philosophy or approach to working with patients?
Well I think the things that patients want today from me are straight talk-so we don't dance around any subject. We just bring it straight up and say, "What we really need to do is get you in an exercise program, and you've got to take your medicines. And we can talk about getting you some medicine to help you stop smoking, but that's got to go too." Straight talk is the thing that I think people are expecting from me.
What do you appreciate most about the doctors and staff you work with?
Memorial Hospital has had outstanding leadership. They have been at the forefront of not only having great customer service, but employing exceptional doctors. They have an attitude where if we need to change things, we'll make some changes. We'll do what it takes to get it right.
What do you like about Yakima?
I did my residency program in Spokane, so I liked eastern Washington. My folks lived here, and I moved back to be close to them. I love the Yakima Valley. My brother Dave had already set up practice in Yakima and so I joined that practice. I also really like the weather and the proximity to Seattle, Portland and Spokane.
Tell me a little known fact about you or talk about what you like to do outside of work.
Well I went to college at Washington State University and played college football there. Playing college football and going to school as a pre-med student was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I averaged about four hours of sleep a night for four years. It was interesting and really fun, but it was difficult. After college, I was drafted by the New York Giants. I played a year of professional football in New York and was traded to Seattle. It just so happened that when I got into medical school in Seattle the next year, they were the only medical school in the nation where I could continue to play football and go to medical school at the same time. I did those two things together for the next seven years. I got to play professional football for eight years and got to go to medical school for seven years.