Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
Name of Undergraduate Institution: Hampton University, Hampton, VA
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Biology
Name of Medical School: University of North Carolina School of Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Public Health
Residency and Fellowship:
Internal Medicine Residency, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Chief Resident, Internal Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
Clinical Cardiology Fellowship, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Electrophysiology Fellowship, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Favorite Quote: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wake Health Page: Elijah Hamilton Beaty, M.D.
LinkedIn: Elijah Beaty
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell him?
- I believe all people enter college with a sense of trepidation. The question arises of “Who will I be?” I would say to my younger self, “don’t ask the question, make the plan”. Take the time to write down what you would become if nothing was in your way, as if you have no fear, as if there were no obstacles, no limits to money, and no limitation of resources. Write down why you want those things. Write down what you are willing to give up to get those things. Picture yourself for 5 minutes every morning and night day as that person, for it will guide your daily actions. Only when you know the why, and you truly believe it, can you start working on the how.
- For an approach to class work, we tend to focus on trying to learn everything. Learn smarter. Each class usually has objectives, if you can learn to the point of teaching someone else the objectives in your own words, you will have the topic down that much more solidly.
- For Majoring: Med schools look for diversity in experience. Consider an alternative to biology, but make sure you meet all the requisite classes that med school requires. If you still are not sure, consider a minor in something else such as Spanish, or English, etc.
- For socializing: Make a schedule to socialize. Make a set time to study (at least 1 hr each day). Make a time to socialize.
- For Finishing College: Don’t Peak. Many of your classmates may go to college with the prime purpose of finishing college. Look far beyond graduation day. Make sure you know exactly what you are going to do the very next day after graduation.
What was your favorite thing about your medical school?
UNC School of Medicine has always had a focus on maintaining diversity to enhance the diversity of physicians.
UNC School of Medicine has the MED program, which has been in existence since 1974. It is a 9-week summer program that underrepresented undergraduates can participate in (Usually after Junior Year). It is an intense course that simulates the first semester of med school and dental school, both in subject and intensity. It is essentially a proving ground to determine if you have what it takes to make it in med school. Some participants have already been accepted into med school and use it as a springboard for the first semester. For those who excel in the MED program, the results are staggering as 80% of all participants have entered medical or dental school. Applications open around mid-October with deadlines mid-January. For more information go to: http://www.med.unc.edu/medprogram/med-program
In regards to dating, what kind of qualities are you looking for in someone?
I’m not saying everyone aims to be married, but I am happily married and had always felt that my accomplishments would be meaningless unless I had someone to share them with. With that, my advice to dating is think about all the qualities that you would look for in someone, and be those qualities yourself.
What were some of your involvements in college? Did those involvements helped you in any way in medical school?
I crossed at the Gamma Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Being among these brothers taught me perseverance, organization, and how to reach my full potential through willpower and grit.
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I am currently an Assistant Professor in Electrophysiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health. I have been in this position for the past 2.5 years. I originally set out to be a General Internal Medicine Physician. However, during residency I started to gravitate towards Cardiology due to the ability to reason through disease processes and it’s relation to physics. During fellowship, I found the constant challenge, procedure-based practice, technology, and specialized knowledge of electrophysiology, or EP for short to be even more interesting. Many procedures that an EP performs, such as pacemaker/defibrillator implantations and cardiac ablations, require advanced hand-eye coordination and 3D special reconstruction. My many years of playing video games as a kid have literally paid off. The ability to work at an academic institution like Wake Forest Baptist Health has allowed me to not only do procedures, but also participate in cutting edge research and train the next crop of physicians to enter the workforce.
If you could go back and have a chat with your 1st year postgraduate self, what would you tell him?
People are your most valuable resource. Learn how to provide value to others as this is the best way to create a network of people who will look out for you.
What advice would you give to a medical student looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
Know the path to get to EP. The major in undergrad does not really matter as long as you can get into med school. Participate in all activities around med school, volunteer to be a tour guide, campaign early to be on the med school selection committee, take part in the organizations in the school and make a dedicated effort to contribute and improve the organization.
What is a major challenge you have had to overcome and how did you do so?
When I first entered Med School, I was overwhelmed with the volume of reading that it involved. I bombed my first test. After that, I knew something had to change. With the help of two great friends, we broke the learning down to simple tasks. We spent at least 4 hours each night, literally reading the coursework to each other. If someone did not get the concept, we would slow down and have a discussion until we all felt comfortable with the topic. This “power of 3,” this prime number made it so the group could not be split up. By shunning any preconceived notions of thinking we could do it by ourselves, and holding each other accountable for showing up we started to excel and perform well above average on each test. I could not have made it through medical school without these two outstanding men, and I remain grateful to this day for their friendship.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to residency?
- Know where you want to end up and identify people in a position that you would like to be in early. If you have the opportunity, asked them what their path was, what mistakes they made, and what did they do right. Then mirror their mindset and actions to allow a more focused concentration of your effort to get to where you want to go.
- Do your research on the programs that you are looking at. Is it a research or clinically heavy program; which fits your personality and interests better? Talk to the residents, and follow up. Residency programs are interested in the people most interested in them.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Using a combination of my hands and my brain to take care of my patients.
Do you have another professional degree? If so, how has it impacted you?
I also have an MPH in Health Care and Prevention from the UNC School of Public Health. It has allowed me to become a more complete physician. I am able to extract data from studies easier and also have a better appreciation of the healthcare system.
Can you please walk us through a typical workday?
I usually arrive at work between 7 am and 7:30 am. I do a final review of the cases I need to do as well as any inpatients that I need to see to make sure they are discharged from the hospital. On my procedure days which are usually Mon, Tue, Wed, and Fri I may have anywhere between 2-4 cases. My cases may last anywhere from 1 hour to up to 5 hours, depending on the nature of the case. My caseload includes device implantation (pacemakers/defibrillators) and EP studies and ablations (supraventricular tachycardia, atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contractions, ventricular tachycardia). On Thursdays I have clinic from 8 am to 4:15 pm. I usually leave the hospital around 6:30 pm.
What do you feel is the most challenging part of your job? The easiest part?
The most challenging part of the job is also the most rewarding as I am working within a beating heart. One wrong move could mean messing up the electrical system, puncturing a heart, or in the worst case, death. This becomes a weight at times, but by maintaining faith in my abilities and my prior training I am able to focus my energy to provide a good outcome for my patients.
What has been your favorite memory so far in your career?
My best memory has been the week I spent in Nicaragua for the FOR Nicaragua medical mission trip. This is when we get to practice EP in its pure form, when technology is at the minimum allowable to do your job. However, the feeling of curing someone who would have never had the opportunity for cure if we had not been there was very rewarding. To be able to give my time freely doing something I love without any compensation puts me in a euphoric state by the time we leave the country.
What do you feel makes your specialty stand out from other specialties?
EP is a great balance between the surgical and medical professions. I am able to do procedures, but these procedures entail a lot of internal puzzles and conceptualization. I enjoy the immediate gratification of potentially curing someone of a disease, but also appreciate the rapport I build with my patients with more chronic disease.
What gives you the greatest motivation to get up every day to go to work?
My family and my patients. I want to be able to take care of my family. I want to provide the best care possible for my patients.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“If there’s a fork in the road, take it.” Meaning once you make a decision, stick with and be happy with your decision and never look back in regret.
How do you manage to balance your work life and your romantic relationship (and family life, if applicable)?
Know how to continue to express love in your significant other’s primary “Love Language.” This is best contextualized in the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.
What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy traveling, and spending time with my family. We have a baby girl who is the light of my life. My wife and I just spent time in Puerto Rico for New Years. In addition to food tours and historical tours, we hiked through a rainforest and kayaked in a bioluminescent bay at night. We topped it off by going to one of the biggest New Year’s Parties in San Juan.
In an alternate universe, what career do you think you would be in right now if healthcare wasn’t an option for you?
I think I would be in real estate.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?
Musicians: Common, J. Cole, Maxwell
Books: Rich Dad Poor Dad, Ready Player One
Shows: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Luke Cage
Movies: Too many to count
This is absolutely amazing Dr. Beaty! The thoughtfulness and thoroughness of your answers are extremely appreciated! Thanks a TON for taking the time out of your busy schedule to participate in this initiative; it means a lot to me as well as countless others who will come across your feature! And I really appreciate you for going above and beyond by answering some of the feature questions geared towards students studying in the field of healthcare, in addition to answering many of the feature questions geared towards healthcare professionals!
Health Career Spotlights Home Page
Posted on February 15th, 2017