Dr. Keivan Tavakoli: From Poison Specialist to Passionate Physician – A Journey of Dedication and Growth
Keivan Tavakoli boasts a diverse background that spans continents. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran’s capital, Keivan nurtured a love for math and literature from a young age, often emerging as the top student in his class. His childhood memories are sprinkled with sun-soaked days on the Caspian sea shores.
Later, his educational journey took him to Alexandria, Virginia, for high school. Here, not only did he shine academically, becoming a part of the National Honor Society and Math Honor Society, but he also showcased his athletic prowess as a member of the school’s soccer team.
Keivan pursued a BS degree in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, before embarking on a journey to the Dominican Republic. There, he enrolled in Universidad Iberoamericana in Santo Domingo, earning his medical degree in 2001.
In addition to his role as a physician, Keivan is a Certified Specialist in Poison Information, dedicated to both preventing and treating cases of poisoning. He is deeply intrigued by alternative medicine, especially integrative medicine, which marries Eastern and Western therapeutic practices.
Outside of his professional pursuits, Keivan’s humanitarian spirit shines. He has volunteered to rebuild homes in underserved areas, ensuring better living conditions for residents. In his leisure, Keivan dives into books, exploring languages, philosophy, history, and comparative religious studies.
Q&A Interview with Keivan Tavakoli: The Journey of a Poison Specialist Turned Physician
Keivan, can you walk us through your professional journey leading up to your current role?
Keivan Tavakoli: Certainly. I joined the North Texas Poison Center in 2011 as a Poison Specialist. I’m proud to share that I passed the Poison Specialist board exam the following year with one of the highest scores in the nation. I continued my work there until 2018, after which I worked remotely for the Florida Poison Information Center until 2020. All this while, I was also preparing for my medical board exams and working towards my licensing. In October of 2020, I received my Medical License and began practicing as a Physician in an outpatient clinic by March of 2021.
It’s fascinating to learn about your transition. How have your earnings evolved over the years?
Keivan Tavakoli: I currently earn my income as a physician in Urgent Care Centers. Before this, I was salaried at an outpatient clinic. Even earlier, my earnings as a Poison Specialist were based on an hourly rate. But profitability, as I see it, began when I started at the Poison Center in North Texas in 2011, marking my transition from odd jobs to a professional role.
Did you ever have doubts about becoming a physician?
Keivan Tavakoli: Absolutely. Preparing for the board exams was challenging. Picture this: I was a few years post-med school, had family responsibilities, worked full-time (often overtime) to make ends meet, and still had to study for an exam that typically requires undivided attention. There were moments of doubt, yes, but perseverance prevailed.
Do you recall your first interactions as a Poison Specialist and later as a physician?
Keivan Tavakoli: Yes, my first interaction at the Poison Center was with a concerned mother. Her child had consumed dirt from a plant pot. I advised her, and thankfully, the child was fine. As a physician, my first patient was an elderly gentleman whom I attended to in my office.
Throughout your journey, did you have a strategy or mantra you adhered to?
Keivan Tavakoli: Since I’ve always worked for companies, my primary strategy has been to follow the rules and guidelines set forth. I’ve also leaned into my methodical nature, paying close attention to the smallest patient details, which often provide significant diagnostic clues.
What drives you in your role as a physician?
Keivan Tavakoli: The joy of helping those in need. Seeing the relief and smiles on my patients’ faces and receiving their genuine gratitude is unmatched.
Do you have any advice for aspiring medical professionals?
Keivan Tavakoli: Start early, avoid procrastination, and always believe in yourself. Stay informed and never become complacent. And importantly, always be willing to learn and adapt.
It seems mentorship plays a significant role in your life. Can you share more about that?
Keivan Tavakoli: Indeed. Throughout college, med school, and life in general, I’ve been a guide, whether academically or personally. I’ve always been someone people could turn to for advice.
What’s next for you in the medical field?
Keivan Tavakoli: I have ambitions of opening my own physician’s office someday. As of now, I’m a General Practitioner, but I’m also looking into a 3-year specialty residency soon.
Lastly, Keivan, what does success look like to you?
Keivan Tavakoli: True success is gauged by the contentment and happiness you feel in life. It’s about finding your passion, working hard to achieve it, and then relishing in the happiness once you’re there.
- Transition and Growth: Keivan Tavakoli transitioned from odd jobs to a professional role as a Poison Specialist in 2011, and then evolved into a practicing physician by March of 2021. His journey has been marked by dedication, with achievements like passing the Poison Specialist board exam with one of the nation’s highest scores and obtaining his Medical License in October 2020.
- Guiding Philosophy and Drive: Keivan’s motivation as a physician comes from the joy of helping those in need and seeing the positive impact on his patients. His professional approach is methodical, focusing on details for accurate diagnoses. His advice for aspiring professionals emphasizes the importance of starting early, continuous learning, and believing in oneself.
- Vision for the Future and Definition of Success: Keivan aspires to open his own physician’s office and is considering a 3-year specialty residency. His definition of success is rooted in personal contentment and happiness, emphasizing the importance of finding and pursuing one’s passion.