Helping Others: A Surgeon’s Life Goal

Rafael Ruggieri, a general surgeon at Presence Medical Center, works 60 to 80 hours a week and still finds time for his wife and five kids, church every Sunday, and helping those in need.

Ruggieri lets his religious faith guide him in life. “I’d always known that I was going to pursue the medical field. Why? I don’t know. I just knew that’s what the Lord wanted and so I pursued it.”

His religious beliefs help him whenever he encounters challenges. Particularly before a surgery, he prays for guidance and for the nurses, the patient, and the family members.

Dr. Ruggieri meets many people from many different walks of life in his line of work. He also witnesses many parts of others’ life. The hardest part for him is watching the patient or the family recieve a diagnosis.

This very emotional and difficult times take their toll on people, but Ruggieri finds that his faith helps him, and others, find peace and comfort in these situations.

Dr. Ruggieri

“My favorite part of the job is helping people. Sometimes I don’t even think of work. I’m just happy to go forth and help others, and in doing so, help strengthen my faith and relationships.”

Ruggieri finds that it is often hard to balance work and family, not to mention making space for church as well. Whenever he has the time during his day, he makes quick calls to his wife.

“Even if I’m not there for every moment in my family’s life, I can at least make a quick call to my wife to hear her voice.”

He values his family over himself, being there for them even though he doesn’t have much time to pursue personal goals. His main goal is to help others.

Despite his hectic life due to his profession, there is nothing major Ruggieri would change if he had to go back and live his life over again. Although Ruggieri admits that perhaps as a teenager he would focus more on studies than trivial things and  less time goofing off, he has no regrets on the things that really matter.

“There is nothing I wish to undo, or change,” Ruggieri says.

Many people can make a misstep or one choice that they regret for the rest of their life, but Dr. Ruggieri has shown it is possible to pursue a life that one is happy to live.


2 comments for “Helping Others: A Surgeon’s Life Goal

  1. Amy Koester
    October 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Great article!

  2. Darian Younggren Halliday
    October 31, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Great Article Olivia!

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