“They come to you trusting you to make the right decision … it’s a powerful privilege.”
Vwaire Orhurhu, MD, calls building a connection with the patients he treats one of the most exciting parts about working in health care.
“When I walk into the room to see a patient, you realize that this patient is vulnerable,” says Dr. Orhurhu, a pain medicine physician at UPMC in North Central Pa. “They come to you trusting you to make the right decision so they can go back to living their lives normally, spending time with their kids, being a grandma, being a grandfather, being a husband, being a wife. And it’s a powerful privilege.”
Dr. Orhurhu grew up in Nigeria, and his passion comes from his love of helping people get better.
In his work, Dr. Orhurhu cares for patients who are in pain for many different reasons. Building relationships with them helps him understand what they’re going through to help them get better.
Understanding pain and suffering also is important, he says.
“Suffering is a powerful term,” Dr. Orhurhu says. “People hear about it. You may not really fully understand it until you’ve actually encountered what suffering means. I come from a very humble background where that means more to me than just the word. My passion comes from understanding suffering, and that passion drives my interest to work hard and see that my patients are better.”
That passion for helping others is a major part of UPMC’s mission. Dr. Orhurhu enjoys being part of a team that works together to achieve those goals.
“When patients walk into the clinic, they present with complex problems – they’re not usually one single problem,” he says. “And the human body is so complex. The beauty of that is being part of a team allows you to resolve and answer those complexities in the most simplified version.”
At UPMC, Life Changing Medicine means solving the most difficult problems together.
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