Jayant Eldurker

Jayant Eldurkar
Episode 125

Join host Japhet De Oliveira as he sits down with Jayant Eldurkar, Medical Officer at Adventist Health Columbia Gorge for an engaging discussion around his love for fountain pens, the importance of listening, engaging with others, and embracing the unexpected in life.
Libsyn Podcast
"Life always takes you in different ways."

Narrator: Welcome, friends, to another episode of The Story & Experience Podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira with his guest today, and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, friends. Welcome to another episode of The Story & Experience Podcast. I'm delighted to be here actually at Adventist Health Columbia Gorge in Oregon. Very excited with this guest. They're smiling. You heard a little bit of their sound there, so this is a good sign that it's going to go well. We have 100 questions, and they progressively become more vulnerable, more open the closer we get to 100.

They're about stories and experiences that shape this particular person into the leader that they are today. So I'm going to dive straight in. I'm going to ask the first 10, and then they get to choose where they want to go after that. So let's start with, could you tell us your name and does anybody ever mispronounce it?

Jayant Eldurkar: Hi. Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes.

Jayant Eldurkar: My name is Jayant Eldurkar.

Japhet De Oliveira: Jayant Eldurkar, okay.

Jayant Eldurkar: And interestingly enough, so a foreign language, any foreign language, it's from beginning, from childhood, the tongue, the way it gets twisted, and how it's said. They're very great, good-meaning folks out there, and they'll do their best to get my name, but unless you're born and brought up in that tongue, that native tongue is really hard. So my name is J-A-Y-A-N-T, Jayant. So my parents decided to... So in India, there's an H at the end. So my parents decided to leave the H out.

Japhet De Oliveira: Interesting.

Jayant Eldurkar: To make it more confusing. So my-

Japhet De Oliveira: I'm sure that was their intent. Yeah, sure.

Jayant Eldurkar: So my cousins, uncles and aunts, they all still put an H at the end of my name.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, do they? Oh, because they want to be faithful.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yes, exactly. Yeah. So yeah, it gets mispronounced, but I have a lot of, well-meaning folks who do their best.

Japhet De Oliveira: I have to ask, you don't have any official documents that have the H in the end do you?

Jayant Eldurkar: No, I don't.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. So you don't go through passport control, like, "I don't know."?

Jayant Eldurkar: No, no, no. So I actually did have to change my name because in Southern India, the last name... So how it's done in Southern India is the last name is your first name, then your dad's name, and then your name is the last. So when my father came over, it was Eldurkar Vaman Bhaskar, which is his name, but Bhaskar is actually his name. So he came over and we were all... I was Jayant Bhaskar, and my mom was [inaudible 00:02:48] like that. And so before I became a physician, after I got into medical school, but before I got my degree, I conferred my degree, I had to change my name, otherwise I'd always be known as Dr. Bhaskar which is not actually my last name.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, that's exactly it. Good to know. Good to know. Well, Jayant... Jayant?

Jayant Eldurkar: Jayant, yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: I just said your name wrong, and I said it correctly. Jayant. All right, this is good. Correct me a few more times and I'll get it right. So Jayant, I'm glad that you're here. And so thanks for hitting that one. Tell us, you alluded to it a little bit, but what do you do for work?

Jayant Eldurkar: So I am a occupational medicine physician. And so I actually went into it almost on by mistake. So I was in family-

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, apparently.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. So I was in family medicine and I did my training at Wayne State in Detroit. With the family medicine, we had another division, occupational medicine division. And I started to talk through it and walk through it with the professor there. And I thought, "Ah, this is what I really should be doing," and it's a preventive medicine specialty. So I said, "Oh, this looks great." So I got into it and then I started practicing that. So I've kind of moved around. I was at Wayne State and was in Detroit for about seven years afterwards.

Japhet De Oliveira: Great city.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. Gorgeous city actually. Then Augusta, Georgia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, right before I came here.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, I know it well.

Jayant Eldurkar: Chattanooga is beautiful. From Chattanooga, I came here. And then, life always takes you in different ways.

Japhet De Oliveira: It does, indeed.

Jayant Eldurkar: We came back, I grew up in Oregon, so I did my wife, and so we decided to be closer to family. We'd been out for about 25 years. So getting closer, in-laws, parents, sisters, siblings, everybody's here. So came back here and then now my current role is the chief medical officer or medical officer.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Jayant Eldurkar: And again, it just, life takes you in funny directions.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, it does.

Jayant Eldurkar: And so that's what I'm currently doing, is I'm kind of balancing my life with the medical officer and still practicing occupational medicine.

Japhet De Oliveira: So are you responsible as well for recruiting physicians and providers?

Jayant Eldurkar: I am. I am. So I have a wonderful recruiter that I work with, Audra Schmidt. She is a hoot if you ever get to meet her.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. That's great. Hey, that's fantastic. Well, I'm glad. How long have you been working at Adventist Health Columbia Gorge?

Jayant Eldurkar: Four and a half years.

Japhet De Oliveira: Four and a half years.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Super. Great stuff. All right, so in the morning when you wake up, first drink of the day, coffee, water, liquid, green smoothie, tea, what do you have?

Jayant Eldurkar: Water, and then coffee. Usually decaf actually.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, nice. You just like the taste?

Jayant Eldurkar: I just like the taste. I have tea, which is caffeinated, oddly enough.

Japhet De Oliveira: Mildly so.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's great. That's great. All right, where were you born?

Jayant Eldurkar: Born in San Jose, California.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice, nice, nice. And when you were a child there, what did you imagine you would grow up to be?

Jayant Eldurkar: Well, great question.

Japhet De Oliveira: Occupational?

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah, I was here, I was born in San Jose, and then we moved back to India when I was one.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow.

Jayant Eldurkar: So we were in Delhi for eight years, so one to nine, and then a year in Bangalore or Bengaluru. And my dad decided to come back and pursue his PhD in electrical engineering at Oregon State, so we moved back to Oregon when I was age 10.

Japhet De Oliveira: So you kind of grew up in India then?

Jayant Eldurkar: In India, yeah. So I wanted to be a cricketer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Jayant Eldurkar: That's what I wanted to be, to answer your question.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. That's great. I love it. Yeah. It's an acquired taste.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. All right. If people were to describe your personality, would they say you were an introvert, an extrovert, and would you agree with that conclusion?

Jayant Eldurkar: So I personally feel like I'm an introvert, but I get along fairly reasonably with people, and so I think they would maybe classify me as an extrovert.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah?

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: But you enjoy more of the quiet time?

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah, I'm perfectly happy by myself.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, that's great. Habits. Are you an early riser or a late night owl?

Jayant Eldurkar: Early riser.

Japhet De Oliveira: And what's that mean for you?

Jayant Eldurkar: 5:00.

Japhet De Oliveira: 5:00, okay.

Jayant Eldurkar: And so when I was going to school in India, it was whatever, 6:00 to 9:00. I had to get up at 4:00 because I had two and a half hour bus ride to school each way.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow.

Jayant Eldurkar: I was the first kid to get picked up and the last kid to get dropped off.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, no. So you lived in the bus every day.

Jayant Eldurkar: I lived in the bus, yeah. My mom had to tie my shoelaces because I was too sleepy to do that.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh my goodness me. Two hours each way?

Jayant Eldurkar: We had to wear a tie.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, a tie, a school uniform>

Jayant Eldurkar: We had to wear tie and all that.

Japhet De Oliveira: I used to have to do the same. Hey, that's amazing. All right. This morning when you woke up at 5:00 AM, first thing that went through your mind?

Jayant Eldurkar: Emails.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah?

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you do it on your phone straight away?

Jayant Eldurkar: I have done it on the phone and then actually just yesterday I realized I had done some emails on the phone, very important emails, and my fat fingers didn't hit the CC button on a couple of people that I should have. And so I have to be careful.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. No, I hear you. Hey, that's good. All right, here's a leadership question, and then I'm going to hand it over to you. Are you a backseat driver?

Jayant Eldurkar: I prefer to listen. And then the people that are doing the heavy lifting get their ideas, and then I can push it through.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Jayant Eldurkar: And so that's what I would do.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good, good. All right. The floor is open. Where would you like to go first?

Jayant Eldurkar: Okay. 12.

Japhet De Oliveira: 12.

Jayant Eldurkar: My kid's birthday.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, good. What is your favorite movie or book of all time and why?

Jayant Eldurkar: Ooh. So, favorite movie is actually... There's two.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah?

Jayant Eldurkar: Sholay, which is an Indian movie, and I saw that. And so I don't watch movies over and over again, but Sholay was one movie that I watched as a kid, so it came out when I was four or five. Pretty violent movie for-

Japhet De Oliveira: For a kid, four or five.

Jayant Eldurkar: Four, yeah. But I didn't watch it-

Japhet De Oliveira: You watched it while you were on the bus ride.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah, exactly. With my non-existing iPad. So I watched it maybe when I was nine or 10. And then [inaudible 00:09:39] I'll still see YouTube videos of it. The other one is When Harry Met Sally.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah, that's a great movie.

Jayant Eldurkar: So Polar opposites of movies. That's another movie. If it's on TV, I'll watch it.

Japhet De Oliveira: You love to watch that.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah, yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. All right, that was 12. Do you want to go up or down?

Jayant Eldurkar: Well, so you've done 10, so we'll go up to... How about 26?

Japhet De Oliveira: 26. All right. Ooh. Tell us about one thing that you love the most, that people do not love this, but you love it absolutely.

Jayant Eldurkar: Oh, it's funny, I find beauty in a lot of things that... It just is very personal. So I write with fountain pens and so I find that the ugliest of fountain pens, I find a lot of peace in that.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. And so I'll have a orange pen, which I mean orange is a nice color, it's a beautiful color, but there can be some pretty ugly colors that you could have and I don't know, I just find some enjoyment in that.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you have ink that's a different color or the pen that's just...

Jayant Eldurkar: So I do have various ink colors. Many, many, many. My wife would think it's a sickness, but for work I can't use most of it. I have to use blue or blue-black.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. So you don't write red all the time?

Jayant Eldurkar: No, no.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good to know. Good to know. That's great. All right, we're next after that. That was 26.

Jayant Eldurkar: That was 26. Okay. Let's do 18.

Japhet De Oliveira: 18. All right. If you had to eat one meal for a month, just one meal, what would you choose? It's the same meal every meal time, same.

Jayant Eldurkar: Okay. So again, growing up in an Indian household, it was rasam, which is a curry dish with some rice, and then you have a vegetable with it.

Japhet De Oliveira: With vegetables with it. And is it different temperatures, is it vegetarian?

Jayant Eldurkar: It's vegetarian. It's different spice levels.

Japhet De Oliveira: How do you like your spice level? You can take it.

Jayant Eldurkar: Pretty warm.

Japhet De Oliveira: You can take it. You can get it warm, gently warm. Warm enough that it creates a bead of a sweat?

Jayant Eldurkar: Yes, yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Okay. May the Lord bless you.

Jayant Eldurkar: This is why I have a handkerchief.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. I like that. All right, that was 18. All right. Where next?

Jayant Eldurkar: 28.

Japhet De Oliveira: 28. If you had to give an impromptu thirty-minute presentation, what would it be? And you can do it right away. No, I'm kidding.

Jayant Eldurkar: Actually, last year at my national conference, I did a TED Talk.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice.

Jayant Eldurkar: And it was my journey into really how my mind... So as a doc, you're in there with the patient. And you think there's going to be an easy patient and you're like, "Oh, it's going to be easy, quick." And one patient, really just very early in my career, actually, about six months into my career, she made me realize the reasons why I was a doc, but I had somehow lost it in residency and fellowship. And so she put me... My mind got reset.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow.

Jayant Eldurkar: And so I could talk about that. And I could talk about my grandmother who passed away a year into med school. And so I got married very early, and so my grandmother gifted me a stethoscope for the wedding.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh wow.

Jayant Eldurkar: So I only use it now. So I had go do volunteer medical work and all that and see patients in clinics. And so I only take my stethoscope, that stethoscope for that.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you really?

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: For all the volunteer work that you do?

Jayant Eldurkar: For the volunteer work. Yeah. Because I think that's how my grandmother saw me, as a doc. Sorry.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, no, that's okay. So I didn't realize that doctors can go volunteer as a doctor.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. So there's various clinics. I'm blanking on the name. I can't believe it.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, that's okay.

Jayant Eldurkar: In Michigan I used to do this. And so in Tennessee we had the yoga center I belonged to, we had a clinic, which I was on the board of that. So we would see patients that were under-insured, or not-insured. And we had a clinic. They'd come and see us and-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic.

Jayant Eldurkar: And we'd draw their blood or we'd send them out and coordinate with the acute care facilities so they can get seen. So it is really rewarding as a physician because it really, again, puts you to the why you're doing something.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I like that a lot. That's really good. Thank you for sharing that. That's inspiring. All right, where next?

Jayant Eldurkar: Let's try 42.

Japhet De Oliveira: 42. All right. Ooh. Your phone. I know it's somewhere with you because you've switched it on silent. You have a photo on the background of your phone, what is the photo and what's the story behind it?

Jayant Eldurkar: Oh, nice. I like that. It's actually my two boys.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah?

Jayant Eldurkar: And the photo is about 15 years old now.

Japhet De Oliveira: Aw.

Jayant Eldurkar: And so they're-

Japhet De Oliveira: Little kids.

Jayant Eldurkar: ... in their early twenties now. And my older one had long hair. And so he was actually getting ready for a play, and so they had to grow their hair long.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice.

Jayant Eldurkar: And the younger one was still in his toothy grin, and so they were going to school in India. And so I took a picture of them at the airport just sitting with them. And so that's the background.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. Beautiful, beautiful. Thanks for sharing. All right. That was 42.

Jayant Eldurkar: Okay. 49.

Japhet De Oliveira: 49, All right. What are you currently learning right now and why?

Jayant Eldurkar: I'm the chief medical officer, medical officer, as we call it. I've been doing this for about a year and a half now, and I'm really learning this job. I am learning what I shouldn't be doing.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's good. That's great. That's what everybody should do as well.

Jayant Eldurkar: And learning sometimes in a difficult way. I think there's much to improve on. And just making sure that I have open door communication, which I think I do, but sometimes it can get lost. And so working on that part and really again, what we think we do, what I think I do, I listen well, but sometimes it doesn't come across that way. And so learning that part, just keep working on that piece.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. It's not easy because we all have perceptions of who we are and we all think we are good at this and we do it exceptionally well, and then we get the 360 evaluation and we're like, "Mm, I could improve."

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. So I got an unsolicited text yesterday.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, aren't those the best?

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah, those are the best.

Japhet De Oliveira: Unsolicited text. I may co-opt that. Go on. Go ahead.

Jayant Eldurkar: And expressing what they've thought of me and how I could do better. And I was like, "Okay." I thank them because I think that's what we have to do is as a leader, just to make sure that we can listen.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's true.

Jayant Eldurkar: And I think there's a time to also have a conversation that's open and say why those perceptions could be false as well.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's true, that's true.

Jayant Eldurkar: So both can happen.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's true. But being willing to be engaged in dialogue is important.

Jayant Eldurkar: Exactly.

Japhet De Oliveira: Instead of shutting it down.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good, good. Hey, thanks for sharing. All right, where next?

Jayant Eldurkar: Let's do 65.

Japhet De Oliveira: 65, all right. Share one word, one word, that you could describe your past. Then could you unpack that one word?

Jayant Eldurkar: Ooh.

Japhet De Oliveira: Ooh. Yeah.

Jayant Eldurkar: Should have picked a different number.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, it's a good one.

Jayant Eldurkar: Transient. If I look back in my life, so I did fifth grade in three different schools, sixth grade in two different schools, fifth grade in two different states and one different, in a country, sixth grade in one school in one country. Then as a medical student, I moved around doing rotations, different rotations. Then of course I've moved as... Most times as physicians, we don't. We tend to kind of put roots down and just stay there.

Japhet De Oliveira: Sure. Invest in the community.

Jayant Eldurkar: But as an occupational medicine doc, I kind have some latitude. So I don't necessarily have... Sorry.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, that's okay.

Jayant Eldurkar: ... patients that I have for years and years and years, like a family doc or internal medicine doc. So I've had the fortune to move some for the right reasons and some for the wrong. I think it's funny because as a practitioner of yoga, it's almost good to have no roots.

Japhet De Oliveira: Interesting.

Jayant Eldurkar: And so you want to be free so you're not just-

Japhet De Oliveira: Fixed.

Jayant Eldurkar: ... fixed and stuck somewhere. I am not planning on moving.

Japhet De Oliveira: Which is good.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. I enjoy what I'm doing, but at least in my mind, if I'm at least free to do that. So I guess transient may be a word.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. I like it. So if you've gone to lots of different places and you've been in lots of different places, how do you really engage and become local? How do you set roots down so quickly? Is there a skill?

Jayant Eldurkar: My sister thinks I can be best friends with the wall.

Japhet De Oliveira: With the wall?

Jayant Eldurkar: With the wall.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. And so I get fairly engaged quickly with people quickly. And I think it's just probably my personality. And I am best friends with the person I'm sitting next to on the plane. And then they leave or I leave, and it's okay. So I'm not so connected that if I don't see them again, it's okay. But I do feel that there's relationships that are made that are valuable. Your friends from high school, you can think.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's true. That's true.

Jayant Eldurkar: You haven't seen them for 30 years or whatever it is.

Japhet De Oliveira: You pick it up.

Jayant Eldurkar: I'm dating myself. I just call Mac and like just the conversation that we had yesterday.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. That's great. That's good. Hey, thanks for sharing that. All right, where next?

Jayant Eldurkar: Let's try 70.

Japhet De Oliveira: 70, all right. Tell us about one thing that you were determined to accomplish.

Jayant Eldurkar: I would like to, two years from now, look back and say, "Really, why was I so worried about this transition?"

Japhet De Oliveira: I see. Okay, all right.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. We've been having conversations with our clinicians, contracts and mergers and all that. And so just to go back, reflect on... There was some really interesting conversations.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah. Okay. I can imagine.

Jayant Eldurkar: And so those conversations of all now, two years from now, I'd say, "Okay, this was great. I'm glad we had these conversations. They were difficult, but we did it and we're here and we're in a much better place."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. That's great. Good, good. Thank you. All right, that was 70. Where next?

Jayant Eldurkar: Well, we'll just go 71.

Japhet De Oliveira: 71, all right. Ooh. Describe a time in your life that took an unpredictable turn. I'm like, "How many?"

Jayant Eldurkar: I'd say about a year and a half ago. And so, well, the one unpredictable turn was probably when we moved here in 2019.

Japhet De Oliveira: Just before COVID.

Jayant Eldurkar: Just before COVID. And so we moved here because to be closer to family. And so six months after we got here, my father-in-law passed.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Unexpected?

Jayant Eldurkar: Unexpected.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh my.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. He was older gentleman, but still it was not expected. But we were able to spend time with him. And so for 25 years, we were out of the state. And so when we would see him would be, he'd come and visit us. My mother-in-law and father-in-law would come and visit or we would come and visit, and so once a year kind of a thing. So we live about 70 miles from them, and so we'd visit them almost on a weekly basis on the weekend.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice.

Jayant Eldurkar: We had something to do in Portland, we go there, go have a cup of tea and come back home. And so it was very unexpected. And so the reaction is, "Oh, we're sorry [inaudible 00:24:03]." I'm like, "Yeah, but we came here and we got to spend time with them for six months that the grandkids didn't get to do that."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's incredible.

Jayant Eldurkar: So I think it was, as I say, a blessing in disguise. And so that was one unexpected. Maybe I can give you a second unexpected?

Japhet De Oliveira: Absolutely. Yeah.

Jayant Eldurkar: About a year and a half ago, my former boss, she left to pursue other opportunities. And our CEO Dennis brought me to his office. So Katie called me and said, "Hey, Dennis wants to meet you." I said, "Okay." And so I was thinking, "What's happening?" And yeah, he said, "So, would you like to be the interim CMO?" And so I really did a take back, looked behind me to see who was behind me. I thought they were talking to him. So that was unexpected career-wise, and it's been very challenging. I think it really brings out how difficult and challenging healthcare can be from a leadership standpoint. And to really understand the nuances that are out there, just not only the personalities, but finances, what we have to provide for the community and all that. So I think it's been a wonderful challenge. I never expected to be in this position anytime, but I hope I get to do a good job in 20 years from now or whenever I retire.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good.

Jayant Eldurkar: I can look back and say, "Okay. It was good."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. I read a statistic just recently that said that it's in the United States, it's about 1000 days, nearly three years, to recruit a physician now. That's the average, but it's really hard to get doctors.

Jayant Eldurkar: It's brutal.

Japhet De Oliveira: Brutal. And then to retain them, because there's just so much change taking place in society and the way that doctors work. And so any secrets or any advice or that you've experienced in the last year and a half?

Jayant Eldurkar: I think you have to have a community that's just welcoming. And I'm talking from a medical staff community, from a leadership community. Because if we fail as leaders, it's pretty evident that the clinicians won't be happy either. So there's multifaceted... Where you live, you've driven here now and it's quite gorgeous.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, it's beautiful.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah. So I always say this story. When I moved here, so COVID... So I'm an occupational medicine doc, so six months in the world turned upside down and all of a sudden occupational medicine became a field that was quite necessary, especially in hospital settings. So about six months into COVID, I was walking with my wife and I got a phone call from one of our docs. And I said, "Hey, Paul, it's really loud. I can't talk to you right now. Can I call you back?" So he's like, "Yeah." So I called him back and I said, "So what's up? How's it going?" And he goes, "Ah, I was just calling to check up on you. You're doing all this work as an employee health doc and just calling to say: hi, how's it going? Are you doing okay?" And I'm like, "What?" 19 years I've been practicing by then, or 17 years, whatever it was, and I just, "This is amazing. This is how you keep people."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really beautiful. That is good. Well, sadly we have time for just two more. So final two numbers, where would you like to go?

Jayant Eldurkar: Let's try 88.

Japhet De Oliveira: 88, all right. Tell us about how your life has been different than you imagined, from a cricketeer.

Jayant Eldurkar: A cricketeer to this. Well, also when I was in medical school, I thought I'd be a cardiovascular surgeon.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice. It changed.

Jayant Eldurkar: Okay. So it's way different. Yeah, it changes. So I think you end up being in places because that's how it's supposed to happen. To be a cardiovascular surgeon takes an enormous amount of dedication to that practice. And the ones that I knew when I realized that I could not do this, because I was married, newly married, and I saw the cardiovascular surgeon working 20 hours a day and multiple marriages, so I just said, "This can't happen." So I went to family medicine. And so yeah, you just roll with the punches, I think.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's good. All right, last number.

Jayant Eldurkar: Last number.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Where'd you like to go?

Jayant Eldurkar: Let's try the nineties.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nineties, okay.

Jayant Eldurkar: Should I give you a shot of picking up a number?

Japhet De Oliveira: I would love to, but I have faithfully not picked any numbers for any guest, so you have to pick the number.

Jayant Eldurkar: Let's do 99.

Japhet De Oliveira: 99, all right. What is the most difficult truth you've ever told?

Jayant Eldurkar: Okay.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Jayant Eldurkar: The most difficult truth is I would have to say that I'm not good at something. So everybody in my family has been an engineer. And I was going to be an engineer, and my younger sister was going to be the doctor. And so I took four years of physics. Very important for an engineer. I'm horrible at physics. And I had to come to face with my dad and say, "I can't be an engineer." And so he's like, "Okay, what are you going to be?" I said, "I think I'll be a doc, physician." And he's like, "Okay." My sister is now a chemical engineer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah?

Jayant Eldurkar: And I'm the physician. But I think it's that. So I was a third-year medical student, and my dad would say, "You could still be an engineer, you know." I'm like, "I don't have the brains, Dad." Not because of anything that he's not proud of me, but it was a very difficult thing as a young person who had everything mapped out.

Japhet De Oliveira: Interesting. Yes.

Jayant Eldurkar: I had everything mapped out to say I was going to be the engineer, I was going to get married at 29, like my dad got married, my grandfather got married, my wife was going to be this age. None of that has come true.

Japhet De Oliveira: Interesting. Yeah.

Jayant Eldurkar: I'm in a lovely marriage. It'll be 30 years this year.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, congratulations.

Jayant Eldurkar: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Jayant Eldurkar: Thank you. And so I didn't come to... So that decision was very difficult from I guess a lineage standpoint.

Japhet De Oliveira: Sure, sure. It was a different path.

Jayant Eldurkar: It was a different path. Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Jayant, it has been beautiful, beautiful to talk to you. Thank you so much for your time.

Jayant Eldurkar: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, it's great. I want to encourage people to do the same thing: sit down with someone, ask them good questions, listen. I say this every time because I really believe it. It changes you, it changes them. Hearing our stories, it shapes us into the leaders that we are today as well.

Jayant Eldurkar: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: So I encourage everybody to do the same. Until we connect again, God bless, everybody. And again, thank you so much.

Jayant Eldurkar: Thanks Japhet.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for The Story & Experience Podcast. We invite you to read, watch, and submit your story and experience at adventisthealth.org/story. The Story & Experience Podcast was brought to you by Adventist Health for the Office of Culture.