Read the full story by Annie Rhoades for the Alumni Association here>>
Dr. Demondes Haynes (BA biological science ’95, MD ’99), program director for pulmonary and critical care fellowships at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, knew from an early age that he wanted to spend his life in service to others. Taking on the roles of physician, professor and mentor have allowed him to do just that.
He knew his ultimate goal was a career in medicine. “I knew since high school that I wanted to attend Ole Miss,” said Haynes. “The university had the reputation for having the best pre-medical program in the state. If I was going to go into medicine I wanted to go to the place that has the best program.”
“The other reason I selected UMC is because Mississippi is one of the few states that still has only one medical school. By being able to attend the only medical school in the state I knew I would get the opportunity to see a diverse patient experience and get to treat a little bit of everything.”
While his heart was initially set on pediatrics due to his love of children, Haynes quickly discovered during his medical school rotations that he enjoyed all facets of medicine. He eventually settled on internal medicine, with the desire to specialize in critical care and pulmonary medicine.
“While training in internal medicine one of the first rotations I did was in the intensive care unit, which holds the sickest people in the hospital,” said Haynes. “During that time I felt a calling to critical care because I thought that’s where I could make a big impact. I love the ICU and what I do as a pulmonary and critical care doctor.”
After a brief stint in private practice with Jackson Pulmonary Associates, Haynes was recruited to return to UMMC as both a professor and practitioner in 2007.
“My favorite part of my job is truly the interaction I get to have with my patients,” said Haynes. “It’s not always easy in the ICU and even in the pulmonary side dealing with a lot of patients that don’t survive. But it’s so rewarding to form that personal connection with my patients. I use that as part of my ministry to work with the families who are dealing with a patient who will not get better. I feel like that’s part of my calling. We’re all put on the earth to do something, and I think mine is twofold—to take care of patients and to teach.”
“I would like to stay in academics because I get to have a greater impact on many more patients by teaching & practicing medicine than I ever could by solely providing patient care,” said Haynes. “The people I teach go out and take care of patients, so if I teach them appropriately and they take what I teach them, I get to impact patients all over the country and the world.”