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Aaron Vinik Part 8, Final Thoughts

In part 8, the conclusion of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. Aaron Vinik talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the AACE 2017 convention in Austin, Texas about the reward of his work and making time for patients.

Aaron Vinik, MD, PhD, FCP, MACP is the Director of Research and Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Neurobiology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. His research and recent discovery of a gene, INGAP, could prove to be a cure for diabetes.

Transcript of this video segment:

Steve Freed: Might she be attending with you at ADA this year? Oh but you’re not going to be here at ADA this year.

Dr. Vinik: No, the person who’s going to represent our group currently knows, he’s currently at Castellini and so we have two papers on at ADA. I’m going to rather too many meetings right now. Since I’ve joined the board of AACE, I mean it added 4 more meetings per year to my life.

Steve Freed: When do you have time for patients?

Dr. Vinik: I’m cutting back, that I am doing. I’m cutting back because the whole system is wrong now. There is no reward for excellence of care. I mean it’s very interesting because when I went to the Bone session yesterday here, I was talking to the people at the panel about that, about bone and life and quality of life and what these people do to make that better. And Brindley from Wisconsin said, “You know in Wisconsin they tell us that you don’t want to be too good at what you do because it’s not being rewarded.” So I said, “I’ll tell you what my dean said to me. He said excellence is the enemy of good.” He said, “We don’t want you to do the type of stuff you do, he said excellence is the enemy of care, because it shows up the rest of the people and they can’t compete with the time allocation we’re allowing them to do all these things, so just keep the level good.” And that’s anathema to me. I’m have a quaternary referral center, I think you know that. The people that get referred to me come are from all over the world, and they’re referred by endocrinologists, neurologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, they send me the worst and they say help us out. So that’s what I enjoy doing. But I don’t enjoy dishing up technical [inaudible]. I don’t like doing that.

Steve Freed: You kind of prove one of the things that I always believe that as we get older, we like to make a bigger impact on the things that we do and if you see patients, let’s say you see 30 patients in a day or 20 or whatever the case may be, that’s great, but there’s another 90 million people out there that can use your knowledge and that comes from just getting older. We like what we do to have a greater importance and a greater effect on people’s lives and that’s what you’re doing.

Dr. Vinik: You’ve said a very nice thing because it’s very nice for me to come to this meeting and people come up to me and tap me on the shoulder and say, “Dr. Vinik are you going to be lecturing again? Whatever you’re going to do I’ll be there.” I say, “Thank you, that’s all I wanted to hear.”

To view other segments in this video series:

Part 1: INGAP Research

Part 2: Heart Failure and Diabetes

Part 3: Reversing Heart Disease

Part 4: Cycloset

Part 5: Wonder Drug: SGLT-2 Inhibitor and GLP-1 Agonist

Part 6: Early Signs of Heart Disease

Part 7: Endocrinology of Aging