Dr. Emley, who has lived in the Boston area for over 20 years, recently gave back to his community by donating $1 million to the local hospital’s urology department. Dr. Emley works hard to give his patients the best care possible, whether they have a chronic condition like heart disease or have suffered an injury that requires reconstructive surgery. His passion comes from knowing that if he can help them, then they are more likely to live long and healthy lives – something that makes him feel extremely fulfilled in his career as a urology surgeon. This personal story of Dr.
What led you to become a surgeon?
I always wanted to be a surgeon, but I didn't find the field of urology until my sophomore year in college when I took an elective called The Kidney. Since then, I've loved everything about it—learning about the organ, performing surgeries on patients with kidney problems, working closely with a team of specialists, and caring for my patients during their recovery. All along this journey, what's been most gratifying is helping people live their lives and do the things they love again. I can think of no greater honor than having the opportunity to heal people through surgery.
What do you love about your job?
As a urology surgeon, I love meeting people, giving back to the community, and knowing that I'm helping improve people's lives in a very personal way. It's also thrilling to have a skill set that can help someone in an emergency situation - the cool part is it's never really routine because people need our help in so many different ways! At IU Health at Indianapolis Hospital, we take care of everything from bladder control problems and blood in the urine to cancer treatments, prostate surgery, and complex procedures like kidney transplants; we handle just about every aspect of urologic health!
After graduating magna cum laude from Indiana University/Bloomington with degrees in Biology and Sociology, Dr. David F.
How do you balance family, life, and work?
Some may find it difficult to balance family, life, and work, but Dr. Emley makes time for all three things with help of his wife and two children. In between tending to his responsibilities as a urology surgeon at Mercy Hospital Springfield, he is a devoted dad to daughter Dakota who turns five in September, and son Nicholas who just turned one in April this year. He finds that regular exercise helps him make the most of the little bit of spare time he has during the day by maintaining good health and staying focused on his goals in his professional life.
Tell us about the charitable donations you give back:
As a surgeon, I have seen the destructive power of these health-related issues firsthand. And it is my privilege to provide support for those fighting breast cancer and diabetes who are determined to beat their conditions. Patients often come in with depression, loss of self-esteem, and a feeling that there is nothing left for them to do but wait for the end. I am here to show them that there is hope for recovery!
How did you get started with giving back?
My interest in urology stemmed from a missionary trip to the Dominican Republic in high school. I was working with men who had bladder cancer and there wasn't enough time to do more than superficial exams before they would bleed out and die. My eyes opened as I realized that simple care like checking their prostate glands could have saved them so much pain, or at least helped them live longer. I knew that being a urologist meant saving people's lives and making sure they lived comfortably with kidney stones, prostate issues, and bladder problems all long into their retirement. However, when the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, my priorities changed radically because it showed me how fortunate we are here in the United States to never know poverty or hunger on the level these people did.
The reason behind that first donation:
In April 2000, Dr. Emley was working with a team of physicians and nurses to surgically remove a malignant tumor from the kidney of a patient who had come in through our doors with abdominal pain--a routine operation on a very sick woman with advanced cancer that we had seen many times before...A few hours after her surgery, the door opened and her husband came in to tell us that she died early that morning at home...I knew I couldn't change what happened but I was determined not to forget the family and do what I could for them by giving back some small piece of my effort to their loved ones.
By providing resources like financial assistance, prescription drugs, and counseling, UR Medicine is able to take care of those who need it most.
You donate to women's health charities, what is it about these organizations that inspired you to get involved?
If you want to give back, look for ways to do so in your community, as well as how you can volunteer internationally. There are many opportunities with global organizations like Peace Corps and Doctors Without Borders, but you could also find a charity or cause near your home to support. An effective way to help those in need is donating blood, which is usually done in monthly intervals at blood donation centers and blood drives. You will feel good about yourself for helping someone else who may not have that luxury. Whenever we donate something, be it money or our time, it feels great because we know that the outcome benefits someone else and makes their life better than it would be without the donation
Do you have any advice for someone looking to give back?
Giving back is an important factor in determining your sense of self and fulfillment in life. The Bible says to Love thy neighbor as thyself (Matthew 22:39). I’ve always enjoyed being a part of making the world a better place for my family, friends, and those I have yet to meet by donating time, talents, and treasures to worthy causes or helping others on their journey to living healthy lives in gratitude for what God has given me. Some ways you can give back include volunteering at food kitchens, local schools, hospitals, or charities; sponsoring young people with disabilities or sending them to care packages; giving money or donating goods/items that are needed; encouraging those around you to live healthy lifestyles; teaching Sunday school classes or coaching Little League games!
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