David Doornink has been an internist at Cornerstone Medical Clinic ever since he graduated from medical school. He has an appreciation for the effects of disease on people and how as a physician he can help people deal with an illness. David likes getting to know his patients, understanding their likes and dislikes while helping them solve their health problems. As a resident of Yakima, David enjoys outdoor activities and has done quite a bit of backpacking in the Cascades.
What inspired you to choose medicine as a career?
I had originally planned on becoming an engineer, but I quickly fell in love with life sciences and changed my major to zoology. I had actually planned on avoiding medicine as a career primarily because my father was a physician and I felt that I did not want to automatically follow in his footsteps. But fairly quickly, I fell in love with life sciences and began to seriously consider medicine as a career. Once I got into medical school, I developed an appreciation of the effects of disease on real people and wanted to learn what it was that we as providers could do to help people deal with human illness.
Do you have a philosophy or approach to working with patients?
First off, I think patients are certainly looking for competence in a physician. But more than that, patients want and need empathy. They want a physician that they believe is listening carefully to their concerns and is looking for the answer to their problems as keenly and as eagerly as if that were the physician's own problem. They want a physician who will identify with their problem and not just be there because it's their job, but be there because they want the patient to get better as badly as the patient does.
What do you appreciate most about the doctors and staff you work with?
From the time I came to Yakima thirty years ago, I've always appreciated Memorial's culture and Memorial's approach to the treatment of individuals. When I first came to Yakima, Memorial's administrator Rick Linneweh sat down with the new physicians, ate lunch with us and talked to us about Memorial Hospital and Memorial's commitment to the community. That immediately impressed me. Since that time, Memorial has continued to have a culture of community service and has gone to a lot of effort and even expense to develop a teamwork approach within the organization that I think has been really good for this community.
What do you like about Yakima?
One thing I've always valued about practicing medicine in Yakima is the congeniality of the relationships between providers here. I've spoken to many of my classmates and physicians with whom I've done postgraduate training and discussed with them their practice situations. Many of them have been involved in practices where there was a great deal of distrust within the hospital staff. In this community, even though there may be differences of opinion on how problems should be handled, physicians get along very well. It makes practicing here a lot more fun.
Tell me a little known fact about you or talk about what you like to do outside of work.
One thing I've enjoyed about living in Yakima has been the opportunities for outdoor sports. My family and I have done a lot of backpacking and hiking in the Cascades. It's been great living in a place that has great access to scenic areas and hiking opportunities. Also, music has been a large part of our family's life. Everything from classical music to bluegrass music has emanated from our home.
When you retire, what would you like to be remembered for?
I don't look forward to retirement because I enjoy what I do too much to think about retirement right now, but I know that day will eventually come. When I do retire I'd like to be remembered as the physician who took the extra time to listen to what patients had to say. I think it's really as simple as that.