From Surgeon to Stroke Survivor with Bevan Choate

Have you ever wondered what your doctors do when they get sick? Dr. Bevan Choate is shedding light on what happens when doctor becomes patient. After suffering a stroke in his 30s, Dr. Choate’s perspective on what it means to live a good life is forever changed. In this episode of Lift U Up: Inspiring Health Stories, we walk through Dr. Choate’s experience adding stroke survivor, author, artist, and more to his name. 

An Unexpected Result

A science lover at heart, a young Bevan Choate decided to pursue medicine during his time at undergrad. He excelled at medical school and went on to complete his 5 year Urology residency in New Mexico. The moment he began practicing, he knew he had found his calling. Just two years later, however, Dr. Choate had an experience that changed his perspective on what it meant to be a good doctor. In 2020, he woke up one morning feeling off. After a trip to the ER he was told that overnight he had experienced a stroke. Even though he lived a healthy life, he was one of the rare 30-somethings who had to deal with the aftermath of a stroke. 

In the Middle of a Storm

With no obvious cause for his stroke, Dr. Choate had no choice but to focus on his recovery. The stroke left him off balance and with less control over the left side of his body. He had multiple surgeries following the stroke, and was sedated on a ventilator for nearly a month during that recovery time. Dr. Choate views being alive as an accomplishment, and doesn’t take the lessons he learned from his life-changing experience for granted. 

He says, “Part of life is being happy when you’re in the storm.” 

His perspective on what it meant to live a good life shifted, straying from the “accomplishment-centric” mentality and learning to enjoy the little moments too. 

A Lesson in Empathy

What started as a method of rehabbing his left hand and re-learning to type, Dr. Choate started documenting his experiences since his stroke. Now, he was writing about his experiences from both the perspective of the patient and the doctor. One page led to another, and eventually his book, The Stroke Artist, was published as a memoir and guide to life-changing medical catastrophes. In the book, he shares stories of finding empathy for his own patients and also reveals the crazy dreams he had during his time sedated. Today, Dr. Choate is back in the clinic with more empowerment and empathy in his surgical kit.

What else can you expect in this episode?

  • What you can do to prevent a stroke, and the signs to look out for one.
  • Why Dr. Choate only has 80% of his brain. 
  • Why he got involved in young stroke-survivor communities.
  • How he started painting and selling his artwork.
  • The healthy habits he adopted post-stroke, and how he learned to be patient with himself…and his patients.
  • How the stroke has changed his surgical career.

Where to find Dr. Bevan Choate: