For the upcoming issue of Oklahoma Super Lawyers, we spoke with Teresa Meinders Burkett, partner at Tulsa’s Conner & Winters where she directs the health care practice group. Burkett began her career as a nurse before transitioning to law, and the experience in the critical care unit gave Burkett a unique outlook while she attended law school. Here, Burkett elaborates on how the experience affected her time at school, beyond what we spoke about in the interview.
I worked in cardiac care and we had many patients with end stage congestive heart failure (CHF). Patients who are dying of CHF are essentially drowning in their own fluids and are gasping for breath at the end of life. It is a very frightening way to die and I sat up with a number of patients all night who were in the dying process, had no family members, and were essentially going through that process alone and afraid. It made whatever we were dealing with in law school the next day seem pretty manageable. It is easy to get caught up in the drama and stress of law school, but the people I served on the night shift in the CCU had real worries and fears to be stressed about. It kept law school in perspective.
Read the Q&A in Oklahoma Super Lawyers, out in November, and watch the blog for more from Burkett.