Article via VIP Murfreesboro
By Sadie Fowler
Jeremy Modglin has a unique perspective as a member of MMC’s Dermatology Department. In addition to working on the team as a nurse technician, Modglin is also a patient, which is what ultimately inspired him to make a career change after 15 years of being a teacher.
His story at MMC began about four years ago, when he became a patient. One day, he came in for a regular skin check as he had done many times in the past.
“I had previous moles removed in the past so I went in for regular check-ups as they were just watching things, like normal,” Modglin said.
Modglin’s provider there, nurse practitioner Hope Brown, discovered a spot — about the size of a tip on a ballpoint pen — on his back and she did not like the way it looked. A biopsy of this spot was done and soon enough the results came in.
“I had had spots checked before so it was no big deal,” he said. “But when we got the result back that it was Melanoma … Well, being that I was 38 at the time, hearing news that I had cancer was very hard to absorb. Then, of course I Googled it and gave myself about two weeks to live.”
Modglin said Hope brought him in to talk him through it and it didn’t take long for him to feel some actual ‘hope.’ He also recalls reaching out to a friend of his who was a breast cancer survivor. Between Hope and the friend, Modglin says he was talked off the ledge and began his journey of dealing with the diagnosis.
“Interestingly, we learned that the same spot I had taken off my back was from the very same spot that my grandfather had on his back which killed him,” he said.
Modglin got through it and now he comes in every three months to be checked. Actually, he comes in to MMC more often than every three months because he is also an employee.
“Yes, it turns out I was so fascinated by dermatology that I actually ended up working here,” he laughed. “I was a teacher for 15 years and was ready for a career change.”
One of the greatest traits Modglin brings to the MMC team is his sincere compassion for patients going through the tough process of hearing they have cancer. One of his duties is calling patients who have been diagnosed with skin cancer.
“I’ll call them and talk to them and when I reach a certain point I always stop and say, ‘I am going to stop. Now, you take over. Tell me how you’re feeling now because I know this is a lot to take in.’”
As a patient and employee, Modglin’s words of advice to others are quite simple.
“If I could share anything, I’d tell people to definitely be more observant and to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said. “A good offense is your best defense.”