Take a behind-the-scenes look into the world of DNA with real examples of our values in daily life. In this episode, Dr. Ruben Velez reflects on DNA's growth and what it means to provide 50 years of kidney care and health.
How Has Healthcare and DNA Changed?
Dr. Velez has been with DNA for 38 years. DNA was founded in a different era of healthcare, in 1971, just before dialysis was approved by Congress in 1972. Dr. Velez describes the growth as impressive, having seen DNA be involved locally, state-wide, and nation-wide with almost every nephrology organization.
Dr. Velez reflects on the early days of DNA and how healthcare has changed since then. The increased availability and education of dialysis have transformed patients' lives and their families. Dr. Velez shares that his work as a physician is to open a door into his patients' lives, learn from them, and ultimately become a part of their families. A smile or a laugh from a patient is one of the most essential medicines. In Dr. Velez's opinion, the definition of a good physician is not the one who knows the most but who cares the most.
How Has DNA Influenced the Nephrology Field?
DNA has been involved with research from the beginning, including dialysis and modern medications and creating early dialysis software systems. In addition, DNA has collaborated with the Dallas County Medical Society, along with other county-level leaderships, where they were able to provide care to community members without insurance, as well as the National Kidney Foundation, which allowed them to evaluate patients with kidney problems they would have been unaware of.
Dr. Velez believes that we are entering a new era of healthcare, one where we can't yet see the full scope of the revolution on the horizon. Artificial intelligence, telemedicine, and other technological advancements will likely change the field of medicine in ways that can't be predicted. Telemedicine is one tool that Dr. Velez utilizes cautiously, as it can make healthcare more accessible but has specific limitations.
The History and Legacy of DNA
In the field of nephrology, organizations always turned to DNA to see what they were doing. In addition, Dr. Velez recalls that nephrologists from across the country would call to learn from others, which he believes to be the key to delivering better care: learning and working together.
In Velez's words, DNA has been there from day 1 and will continue to be there. In the future, he hopes that the need for dialysis will be delayed or even cured altogether but that everything is a work in progress. For himself, Dr. Velez continues to prioritize having fun, caring about his work, and building a bond with his patients every day.
Dallas Nephrology Associates’ (DNA) podcast series, Let’s Talk About Kidneys, is provided for general information purposes only and does not replace the need to talk with a healthcare professional about your unique situation, care and options. Our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible so you can be as informed as possible. Reference to any specific product, service, entity or organization does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by DNA.
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