Brian Hansen

Graduation Year: 2006

Major(s): Biochemistry

Current Position: Internal Medicine Physician, HealthEast (St. Paul, MN)


Please give a brief description of your current position and where you're working.

I am currently practicing medicine in a traditional internal medicine model, in which in the morning I see any of my patients admitted to the hospital which I am affiliated with, and then see patients in the clinic for the rest of the day.

What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?

While at Saint John's University, I started on the pre-med path right away so I had time to take the MCAT by the fall of my junior year.   After graduation, I started right away at Des Moines University and completed internal medicine residency at University of Iowa (Iowa City).   Many students choose to take a year or more off prior to graduate school, though this is a decision you must make for yourself. 

What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?

The most important part of the process is to know if this is the right career for you.  There are too many personal sacrifices involved to go down the physician path half-heartedly.  I suggest doing everything to learn about the field including talking with mentors, shadowing physicians, volunteering, and reading about the field. This can be a very rewarding career if you decide this is what you wish to pursue. 

What skills are important in your field?

The best residents and attending physicians I worked with were the ones who had good basic job skills: organization, dependability, excellent at communication with both medical professionals and patients.  Critical thinking skills, intellectual curiosity, active listening, and patience are other important skills.

What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?

Many of the classes/presentations pertaining to internships and job interviewing were helpful to me.  Some of the experiences I remember include mock interviews, instruction on how to prepare a resume, and etiquette instruction for work social hour/ dinner.  The network of Johnnies and Bennies in medicine and other careers in general is a powerful resource as you explore career options. 

What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job?

The most satisfying aspect on an academic level is solving a puzzle to arrive at the diagnosis, especially when it is initially elusive.  The most rewarding part is when patients thank me for helping them.  Sometimes all that is required is being there and taking the time to listen- you may be surprised.

(Fall 2015)