Dr. Chelsea Hardin, General Surgeon

– My name is Chelsea Hardin. I’m a general surgeon. And I work with West Side
Surgical Specialists. I don’t know if there was a single moment, but I certainly knew by
high school that I had an interest in the sciences. In biology and chemistry. I could never see myself in a lab. I always liked people so
I knew it was going to be something in healthcare and to be honest, I came by the whole thing naturally. My dad started medical
school when I was six, I went through that
whole journey with him. When he was a resident,
my mom used to take us to the hospital and we
would have pizza with him in the residence and they
would teach me how to tie. So I think it was a natural
progression of my life. I do a lot of emergency surgery and that’s probably my favorite
thing because people come in and they’re hurting and
they’re scared and I feel like I can be a calming presence, I can make an emotional connection, and get somebody through what’s usually a really terrible time. And I can fix the problem, it’s not like I’m writing a
prescription for medication for diabetes. I’m actually using my
hands to correct a problem and then people get better and they go back to their normal life, which I think is the
best goal of medicine. Is to sort of get somebody
over this acute problem and back into their normal life. I always attempt to make an
emotional connection with a patient. I think that’s really important, I think in the past the surgeon
has been sort of a dictator of care and my philosophy is that the patient and I, and the family, we’re really all partners
in this whole journey. I can do an operation, but the
patient is the one who has to do the wound care, and the healing, and to manage the nutrition afterwards. So I think it’s important
that we set up a relationship in the beginning and that
we work together as a team. In my free time, I like to run. That’s one of my most favorite things, and I like to run outside. Rain or shine, even if it’s icey. I have two small children, four and six, so we spend a lot of time
swimming, and riding bikes, and doing other active
things around Portland.

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