THRIVE is an AIWA-SF April project dedicated to highlighting Armenians who are doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Dr. Armine Nadiryan, Hospitalist at St. Lukes Hospital in Chesterfield, MO
Dr Armine Nadiryan was born and raised in Armenia, Yerevan. Becoming a doctor was decided for her way before she could choose a profession for herself. It was her mother’s dream which she was unable to pursue due to certain circumstances, so she embedded her dream very deeply inside, making it eventually her dream as well. Dr Nadiryan graduated from Yerevan State Medical University in 1991 and moved to USA at the age of 26. Learning English and passing the USMLE exams in the States was a solid obstacle for her to overcome, but very rewording at the end. She completed her residency at St. Lukes hospital of Chesterfield in MO which eventually became her home and second family. As a student, she was fascinated by the scientific side of medicine. The true joy of being a doctor came after working in the field – when you diagnose a challenging case, giving your patient back the life that the terrible disease was trying to take away.
Question: What is your life philosophy?
Human kindness, compassion, and empathy will save the world! As a physician, I deal with life and death situations in daily bases. There comes a time, when medicine is no longer able to cure. All you can do, is to comfort the patient and the family, help them to accept the new reality. I strongly believe in communicating with patients in simple language, even when discussing complicated health issues.
Question: What is your favorite thing about being Armenian?
Being a fighter and never giving up are the two strong features that run in our DNA as an Armenian. With hard work and dedication, we achieve, we create, and we establish in every corner of the world. Cooking is a great passion of mine. I was happy to discover and join the “Armenian Cooking” Facebook page. It’s such a pleasure to share recipes and cooking techniques of our heritage, embrace another strong cultural feature of ours – the great Armenian hospitality. I enjoy cooking for my friends and family; it relaxes and recharges me.
Question: Thank you for all your dedication always but especially as a caregiver to patients with Covid. What are your thoughts during this current pandemic?
When Covid 19 reached my hospital, I already knew it was going to be a long and challenging fight against a disease still not well known to doctors and scientists. Evaluating patients’ symptoms and history thoroughly was going to be critical in order to correctly diagnose and assess. We have “Covid 19 meetings” every day with fellow physicians to share experience, discuss cases and new symptoms. We learn something new every day as we go which helps to come up with new guidelines and recommendations. We try to provide the best workflow in our hospital to safely manage the treatment of patients infected with coronavirus. Not overlooking any symptoms that might have been considered unrelated to covid in the beginning of the pandemic, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, helped me diagnose and isolate a covid positive patient already on the floor and prevent the farther spread. During my 10 years of experience as a doctor, I had never made so many phone calls before. You become the bridge connecting the patient and the family. I will never forget the fear in the eyes of my fist positive patient and the joy in the eyes of my first successfully recovered and discharged patient. Due to heavy number of covid patients I see every day, I practice self-isolation in my house to protect my family. Not being able to hug my son is the hardest thing for me these days, but we will get through this!
Question: What is your hope for the future?
Hopefully our scientists will be able to develop effective treatment and vaccine for coronavirus, so we all can go back to our lives before the pandemic. This was a wake-up call for all of us to appreciate what we have. I hope people will reconsider their priorities. At the end of the day, human contact is what we miss the most and can’t live with. Let us be kind and forgiving towards each other.