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Featured Clinician: Cesar Aristeiguieta, MD, FACEP

Posted on Mon, Apr 18, 2016
Featured Clinician: Cesar Aristeiguieta, MD, FACEP

The heart and soul of our practice are our clinicians. Meet Cesar A. Aristeiguieta, MD, FACEP, executive vice president of the Gulf Coast and San Antonio regions of EmCare's Alliance Division and acting site medical director of the emergency department at West Houston Medical Center.

Years with EmCare: One.

Years practicing medicine: 14 post-residency. 18 years since graduating from medical school.

Why did you decide to become a doctor? Why did you choose your specialty? I was a police officer and EMT. I worked with EM residents at Kern Medical Center and became interested in becoming an emergency physician. I thought they were cool people and wanted to be “part of the club.”

What career did you want to pursue when you were younger? Baseball player.

Describe one of your greatest professional accomplishments. Still in progress :)

What's in the pockets of your lab coat? Triplicate prescription pad and my stethoscope. Yes, I still use one.

What would be your ideal category on “Jeopardy”? “Behind the camera.”

How do you stay organized at work? I keep notes and try to keep the stress level down. Stress and chaos is bad as an administrator or as a practicing emergency physician. You always have to look toward improving efficiencies.

What are your tips for “leaving work at work” and not getting burned out professionally? Having an active life outside of medicine is important. Family, friends, faith, hobbies, travel and volunteering are all important too.

How are you “making healthcare work better”? Improving the efficiencies of our emergency departments means that we can see more patients with the same resources and we can improve the way we care for them. In the end, the goal is high quality and high patient satisfaction.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about work or life? You have to be passionate about what you do to be successful and happy. Medicine is not just a job, it's a calling.

What do you enjoy outside of work? I've been passionate about photography since I was 7 years old. I fell in love with the medium when I watched my uncle develop black and white photographs in his home darkroom. It was magic to me! After high school I had an opportunity to attend art school at the world renowned Brooks Institute of Photography. My left brain would not allow me to pursue an artistic lifestyle, which is how I ended up in medicine. To pay for college, I worked as a police officer full time. I was “top gun” of my police academy class, which led to involvement in shooting sports. I currently compete in sporting clays and have an eye on IDPA and 3-gun competitions.

What’s your favorite inspirational quote? I stopped looking at inspirational quotes for inspiration many years ago. Inspiration has to come from within and it is the result of passion for what you do.

What qualities make a successful doctor? High energy, ability to delay gratification and being meticulous in everything you do.

How would your co-workers describe you? I hope that they say I am a good physician and friend.

Tell us something that most people at work don't know about you. I have “guilty pleasure” for watching “redneck” shows on TV. Things like Gold Rush, Deadliest Catch, Flying Wild Alaska, Bering Sea Gold, etc. Redneck is not a pejorative term in my view. It describes blue collar, hardworking Americans. These TV shows show the ingenuity and hard work of people pursuing their dreams.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or historical, who would you choose and why? My grandfather. He was a successful entrepreneur. I would love to get his perspectives on leadership.

What’s the most interesting place that you’ve been? I have travelled extensively in the Americas, Europe and Africa. My favorite spots in the world are the California Sierra Nevada (I have backpacked more than 1,000 miles in the Sierras over the past eight years), and Alaska.

What are you currently reading? I like political books and presidential history. I just finished reading "Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World," by Evan Thomas. It's about the judicious use of presidential power in a dangerous world.

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of? Having an image published in National Geographic magazine.

Would you like to be a "Featured Clinician"? Contact Jodi McCaffrey for information.

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