“Meet Grand Rounds” is a series of interviews that will introduce you to the people who are working to make quality healthcare accessible to everyone, everywhere. The Medical Team at Grand Rounds consists of staff physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work directly with our patients to provide comprehensive and personalized clinical guidance. Learn more about one of our physician assistants, Tom Sverchek, in the Q&A below.
What do you do at Grand Rounds?
I’m a physician assistant, focusing primarily on triage. All of our cases are reviewed by a clinician to make sure we’re helping our patients in the most effective way possible. I appreciate the opportunity to be one of the first clinicians to address our patients’ questions and concerns. The way I see it, I’m the first line of defense in helping them get the right care when they need it.
What inspired you to join Grand Rounds?
While I enjoyed my previous job at a small private practice, I was spending more time on administrative tasks and dealing with insurance companies than actual patient care. I’ve always been interested in startups but never realized how medicine could cross over into this space. A quick Google search led me to Grand Rounds, and I was immediately inspired by our co-founder Rusty Hofmann’s story. I knew this was the place for me and believed that Grand Rounds could help me get back to doing what I love most: helping patients get the best possible care.
What’s been your most memorable or rewarding Grand Rounds moment so far?
Being part of the LLS Light The Night Walk survivors’ lounge with my co-workers was very inspiring. The most memorable part of the night was meeting a mom and her son who were visiting the city for a few hours. They were thrilled to find out that they were at an LLS event as the mom herself was a cancer survivor. They also loved the Grand Rounds cape we gave them!
How did you get started in your career field?
Football. I spent the first two years of my college football career at more medical appointments than I care to remember. I suffered from C4-C5 foraminal stenosis and had a compressed nerve. I was set on having spine surgery until my mom stepped in (very Grand Rounds-like of her!) and insisted that I get a second and then a third opinion. Ultimately, I decided against surgery and was able to overcome my injury with the help of various doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers. The team aspect of medicine and patient empowerment that I experienced during that time led me to pursue a career in healthcare.
If you could change one thing in U.S. healthcare, what would it be?
I wish we had a better way to reward preventative care for both patients and providers. For example, a patient who is told by their doctor to modify their lifestyle — whether it’s diet, exercise or both — should have more support from the healthcare system in general, including access to nutritionists and personal trainers. In fact, I’d love to see insurance reimbursements for personal training. Even a few sessions could make a huge difference in a patient’s long-term health.
What are you most passionate about outside of the office?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter, playing board games with friends, and listening to audiobooks. One of my favorite audiobooks of all time is The Elephant Whisperer by Graham Spence and Lawrence Anthony — it reaffirmed why elephants are my favorite animal. The Martian was another fantastic audiobook and is better than the movie, in my opinion.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to fly would be pretty hard to pass up, but I think it might be much colder up there than people imagine. So instead, I’d have to go with the ability to speak any language. I’ve managed to do just fine speaking only one language, but I think it would be easier to form deeper connections with friends, family and patients if I could speak their native languages. I also wouldn’t mind having laser vision and the ability to only sleep if I wanted to without ever getting tired. This list could go on.