| Pundit Profile
Theresa Mallick-Searle, MS, NP-BC, ANP-BC
What inspired you to become a healthcare provider?
When I was 17, my mother and 2 younger sisters were involved in a head-on motor vehicle accident. The 3 were taken to separate medical centers that could accommodate the level of trauma care needed. The evening of the accident and over the next 2 to 3 months, I watched doctors and nurses work tirelessly to stabilize and care for the 3 lives that meant the most to me. The dedication, attention, and level of compassion that I observed cemented in me my future life’s work.
Why did you focus on pain management?
I sort of fell into pain management. As an or & pacu nurse, I worked closely with the Pain Service caring for their patients when undergoing interventions. I came to respect the discipline while working along with these specialty physicians doing remarkable interventions “curing” pain. After completing my advanced degree, the Pain Service at Stanford was looking to bring on their first Nurse Practitioner. For me, there was no question as to where I wanted to focus my practice.
Who were your mentors?
It is difficult to choose just 1 or 3 individuals. I try and take examples from most everyone that I interactive with, be it a close friend, colleague, supervisor, or stranger on the street, to better myself as a person and care provider. Specific individuals who I admire and I reflect on every day in my professional life are Sean Mackey, an individual who I first met as a Pain Fellow and watched grow to be one of the most respected pain researchers, leaders, and advocates for patients in our discipline. Ian Carroll, who I also initially met as a Pain Fellow, whose commitment to patients with pain is the greatest I have ever experienced. Ian’s intelligence and relentless drive to diagnose the otherwise undiagnosable, is of utmost inspiration. Finally, Wendye Robbins, one of the most talented, compassionate, and driven women that I have ever met. Her equal devotion and commitment to patients, family, friends, colleagues, and society as a whole is unequaled. Dr. Robbins is one of the first women in pain medicine that I met when starting my career, and I found her to be a true enigma. Her ability to be “all” and do “all” from physician, business women, entrepreneur, to devoted mother, wife, and friend filled me with the confidence to expand my boundari
If you weren't a healthcare provider, what would you be?
I would probably be a teacher. The absolutely wonderful thing about my current career is that I get to do both!
What is your most marked characteristic?
Stubbornness, tenacity, and curiosity. My husband says, “Bulldog. When she is focused on something, she is a bulldog and will not let go.”
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
It is difficult for me to choose one life event as my greatest achievement. Instead I like to consider milestones in my life that I am most proud of: completing nursing school, landing my first job at Stanford, becoming a Nurse Practitioner.
What is your favorite language?
Sign language--reflecting the ability to communicate without words.
If you had to choose one book, one film, and one piece of music to take into space for an undetermined amount of time, what would they be?
I am sure that this question is supposed to reflect something deep and profound about my personality. So since I will be heading off to space, I would choose a book of instruction. Something about horticulture (or growing potatoes), given that I recently read The Martian. I would choose a film for pure entertainment. I really enjoy the X-Men series. Finally, I would choose a song of inspiration, maybe something from John Lennon like Whatever Gets You Through the Night.
What would you like your legacy to be?
I would like to be remembered as a hardworking, humble, creative, caring nurse, wife, sister, aunt, friend, and colleague.
What is your motto?
If difficult, it is done at once. The impossible takes a little longer.