Artist: Daniel D’Auria, M.D., Gastroenterologist
MyDoqter Feature: Dr. Daniel D'Auria
A MyDoqter interview of Dr. Daniel D’Auria, who is a practicing gastroenterologist who completed his medical education at Rutgers Medical School followed by residency and fellowship training at UMDNJ. He is also a nationally recognized wildlife photographer and his photographs have been recognized by the “Nature’s Best” Photography Competition, top 100 in Audobon’s 2019 contest, Aerial America Photo Contest 2011, and he was a finalist in the Smithsonian’s 11th annual photo contest. Additionally, Dr. D’Auria has written a series of children’s books about wild animals and infuses important life lessons and wisdom through his art: “Success isn’t always financial. It’s about having a crazy, silly dream and making it a reality.”
Dr. D’Auria joins us today to discuss his feature article in Physician Outlook magazine on his photography and the intersection of art, Medicine, and the physician calling.
myDoqter: Dr. D’Auria, thank you for joining us today to discuss your art and photography. By all accounts, you are an esteemed and respected photographer and artist. The practice of Medicine is often referred to as both a science and an art. Could you share with us how you think your artistry has impacted your practice and/or your life as a physician overall?
Dr. D’Auria: One word comes to mind... Balance. The concept isn’t new. Most of us look to strike some kind of harmony between the things we do professionally and what we do in our free time. I find fascination in observing wildlife, watching how other animals interact with each other, nature, and humans and learning, firsthand, from their behaviors.
My observations have helped me understand people and many of the ways we interact. More than anything, wildlife photography takes patience. It’s a learned skill – one that has enormous application when evaluating patients and trying to understand their afflictions.
myDoqter: That is very profound and reminds us that we are all part of nature and our very essence is tied to all of life around us. One of your pieces featured in Physician Outlook is entitled “Looking Back”. It is commonly said that one should NOT look back, yet a careful retrospective analysis can allow us to celebrate our achievements and also analyze and avoid mistakes.
Professionally speaking, what have you learned and what insights have you gleaned through looking back on your career?
Dr. D’Auria: I believe it’s important to look back. How else do we learn? All clinical research is based on a review of past data from which we draw conclusions. A person that says, “they never look back,” probably isn’t being truthful with themselves. Dwelling on the past isn’t healthy but learning from successes and failures helps us grow and move forward.
My past experiences have helped me define my own boundaries and given me insight into the things I find most rewarding and those I realize I am best to avoid. I’ve come full circle. I practiced most of my career flying solo. I established a corporation and brought in an associate. I went to work in a hospital-owned practice and I now find myself working in a larger single-specialty private practice. I’m where I am for a reason. It works!
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