With breast cancer being unfortunately the second leading cause of death for women in the United States, and the statistics for the illness sadly being so high, it seems as though everyone can say they know someone who has suffered from breast cancer. But, not everyone can say they know a ridiculously handsome, intelligent and charming doctor that is so dedicated to the cause and that actually cares– if they could, mothers would be lining up to meet them so that they could introduce this catch to their daughters! And that’s where Doctor Mike comes in.
Dr. Mikhail Varshavski, also known as “Doctor Mike,” is a third year medicine resident focusing on family and sports care in Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ. Having come to Brooklyn, NY from Russia at six years old, Doctor Mike watched his parents with wide eyes as his father attended medical school and his mother swept floors to make ends meet. The handsome young doctor’s dedication to medicine only increased when he was inspired by the relationships between his father and his patients. When Doctor Mike lost his mother to CLL during his first year of medical school, he only became more passionate to help others, vigorously pushing himself to finish up his studies.
A contributor to several popular online publications, and having been published in esteemed research journals, Doctor Mike has already branched out past medicine and used the world of social media to do good in the world. A powerful entrepreneur and an extremely kind philanthropist, this brilliant and beautiful healer has managed to use his platform to spread awareness and educate others on how to keep themselves and others healthy. Not only is Doctor Mike involved in several organizations, he even launched his own charity; The Limitless Tomorrow Foundation, which seeks to empower candidates to reach their full potential and overcome hardships.
And of course, another organization that Doctor Mike is a part of and that he is very passionate about is the Susan G. Komen foundation. With September being breast cancer awareness month and the illness being a diagnosis everyone should know about, the Race For The Cure in Central Park is the perfect fundraising opportunity to help out a good cause- and it’s no surprise that Doctor Mike is taking part!
With a heart so warm it could melt the arctic, looks so good they could put any top model to shame, and a brain so innovative that it could lead to revolutionary discoveries in medicine, it would be great to see Doctor Mike get his own show! Luckily, the impressive doctor agreed to an appointment for an interview to talk all about all the wonderful things he has coming up, how to get involved, and how to see him!
So, you are going to be at the Susan G. Komen Greater NYC 5k race/walk in Central Park. Can you talk about the race a little bit and why it’s important people come out for it, and why it’s also important that people get checked for breast cancer?
The event is a yearly event that Susan G. Komen hosts in central park in New York City to not only raise awareness for breast cancer and the illness, but also to raise funds for research and to help out those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as their families. I’m a family doctor and a big part of what I do is preventative care, and breast cancer is one of the illnesses that women suffer from greatly in this country. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s also the number two leading cause of death in the United States for women, and it’s a preventable cause of death- which is something I’m incredibly passionate about, and the reason for that is because it can be prevented with simple checks; like a breast exam combined with mammogram. And women aren’t fully aware of what is going on, nor are their families. There are still a lot of misconceptions out there, and I think that the Susan G. Komen foundation does a great job of educating women about breast cancer, as well as educating the general public about the illness and the current treatments we have out there, and frankly we need more research in the field to see what’s appropriate and what could be done better, and the way that we do that is by raising funds. So, the Susan G. Komen foundation is really a great organization for that, and I thought it would be the perfect foundation for me to get involved with.
And not only women are at risk for breast cancer, but men are at risk also. Can you go into detail on that, and why it’s important for men to show up to get checked?
Men are at risk for breast cancer as well, that’s absolutely true. 1-2% of breast cancers are related to men. So, if men do feel something abnormal on their bodies, it is very important they share that with their primary care doctors. It’s a disease with a lot of speculation surrounding the illness where people think that we’re over-screening, or over-checking, but really the importance of catching the diagnosis early outweighs any negativity that might come along with the notion of doing too much screening. But, in general, I do believe we need more research, and the way we get that done is by raising awareness and raising funds through events just like this one.
When did you know that you wanted to be a doctor and that you wanted to help people?
So, originally I was in high school and I was studying biology and I got really interested in the field of medicine. And then, I got a lot of early exposure to it because my father’s a physician and I saw the relationship that he had with his patients, and it was something that drew my attention to how wonderful the field was. The patients that came into his office weren’t his clients, he didn’t have duties to his clients in the way that others had duties to their shareholders like other professionals, but he had a duty to these people who trusted him with their lives, and he became their friend. They would come to him for advice. They trusted him with their lives and the lives of their loved ones- and I really fell in love with that sort of relationship. I loved that continuity where you could follow someone throughout their life and see how they change from childhood to adulthood to the elderly, and you get to see how the progression of life changes. To help someone as they go through life is wonderful not just on the medical standpoint, but on the psychological standpoint as well, and I fell in love with the field of medicine that way, and I thought that my communication skills were a great fit for building these relationships with patients so that they can divulge more of their information on what ails them and we can make a better educated decision together on how to help them, and furthermore be able to educate them about their illness.
And where can people go in order to schedule an appointment with you if they want to get an appointment with Doctor Mike?
I work at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey, and they have a family medicine center that is fantastic. You can call our office, it’s listed right on the internet at the website; http://www.atlantichealth.org/overlook/ and you can schedule an appointment with me. We can do a preventative health visit, so there’s no need to actually be sick in order to come see me. It’s just as important to maintain your health as it is to see a doctor when you’re already sick.
Being that this September is breast cancer awareness month, how else can people get involved in helping raise funds or awareness for the cause?
Primarily, the greatest way to get involved is to partner up with a great foundation like Susan G. Komen Foundation that already has the outlets in order to get the most reach possible. So, volunteering for an event like the 5K walk in Central Park is amazing because this is a huge event and we need a lot of help with it. Raising funds is a great help you can help by simply asking your family members, or co-workers for a few dollars and maybe making the event in someone’s memory to someone you lost to breast cancer or someone you know that is suffering, as it would be a great way to remember them or help them fight the ongoing battle, because we’ve all known someone that’s had the illness.
Unfortunately, Doctor Mike is right again- the prevalence of breast cancer is too high and everyone does know someone that has suffered. And by getting involved in the Susan G. Komen 5K walk, not only will participants get to support those that they know that have been diagnosed with the illness, they will also get the chance to meet Dr. Mike, learn more about to help, and learn more about how to take preventative care for themselves in the future. I think the world just found a new Dr. McDreamy!
The 2016 Susan G. Komen Greater NYC Race For The Cure is Saturday, September 10th, in Central Park. To donate, get involved, and/or to sign up to run with Doctor Mike, go here for more information; http://www.komennyc.org/site/TR/Race/RFTC?pg=team&fr_id=1551&team_id=55398
And for more information on Doctor Mike, head here; https://www.facebook.com/realdoctormike/videos/1772424842972397/
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