I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with my childhood friend, Dr. Mike Brunnquell, on the most recent episode of Planning on Call. Mike is a doctor, father, and friend. Our conversation ended up being the perfect follow up to my last episode with Katie O’hea. Mike’s diverse training and experiences in the medical field allowed us to touch on several of the topics we’ve discussed over the past year on Planning on Call.

I would encourage you to listen to full interview of this episode of ‘Planning on Call,’ the podcast, here:

Follow the links below to listen to The Atlas Advantage on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Libsyn:

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Dr. Brunnquell’s career path is an interesting one, as it isn’t the straight line some medical professionals (like my wife and Mother) take. Mike carved his path in medicine after undergrad, by working at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington, D.C., which gave him time to find his footing, get a better understanding of health policy, and build his resume before applying to med school. Once he returned to medical school, at the University of Minnesota, he again diverged mid-way through his training to get his Masters in Hospital Administration (MHA) at Columbia University in New York City. Given Mike’s dual administrative and medical training, it was great to gain another perspective to topics discussed in both of those areas previously referenced in Planning on Call episodes 2 and 3 with Dr. Liza Arendt and hospital CEO Mary Ellen Wells.

Dr. Brunnquell is now a hospitalist in Denver, Colorado, and recently a new father of his first child. We discussed balancing his career with being a new dad and supporting his spouse through her pregnancy. He provided particular insight into how those factors have affected his career choices to this point. Having discussed some of these topics in our last Planning on Call episode with Katie O’Hea, sharing the non-medical spouse’s experience, I found the conversation illuminating.

We have all heard plenty about 2020 being a difficult year, especially for those on the front lines fighting the Coronavirus like Dr. Brunnquell. Mike further discusses the battles with the virus he and his team have faced in this episode, and I cannot stress enough how lucky I feel to have individuals like him working tirelessly to keep us healthy.

As we all wrapped up, what seemed to be, an endless and unpredictable year, it is nice to be able to take stock of the good fortune I have to share these discussions with you. With all that has happened, it is important to note things I am thankful for – my friend Mike and his wonderful partner, welcoming a healthy baby girl. My wife Emily working herself to exhaustion and absolutely annihilating her board exams in Plastic Surgery this past November. Personally, I had the amazing opportunity to work with many great clients, and starting Planning on Call.

As we continue to navigate further into 2021, I think we can all agree to hope for a better year. My wife, sister, and mother (all hospital workers) have been vaccinated. There is a light at the end of the Coronavirus tunnel, and by year-end HOPEFULLY, we are back enjoying the things we love. For me, it’s hugging my family in Minnesota, getting on the ice to play some hockey, or grabbing a drink with old friends. Until then – mask up, stay safe, and be positive!


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