Sunday, November 6, 2011

Family Physician: Fabulous Five Life Changers

The blog focus proposed by National Health Blog Post Month on day 5 is to write about five "things" that were life changers for the blogger that relate to their development as a health activist.

What are five phenomena that changed me to be a Family Medicine Health Activist? This is what I might expand on and make a good case.

1.  My Family:
     a. Of origin b. Of marriage c. Spouse role d. Parenting role
2.  My Spiritual Development
     a. Formal Religion b. Faith Quest
3.  Education
     a. Principles and 3 R's b. West Point c. Army Training
4.  Vietnam helicopter pilot and leader
5.  Family Medicine
     a.  Training b. Patient Relationships c. Patient Care

Reality, though, is probably a bit different.

1.  My maternal grandmother who lived across the street from us had severe rheumatoid arthritis.  My mother was her caretaker for many activities.  I never saw her walk.  She had the classic steroid induced facial features and classic severe RA changes in her hands.  But, she knitted, painted and drew pictures.  She was my own Grandma Moses.  We played marbles when I was a small boy and made Christmas ornaments together.

2.  I loved the smell of Dr. Martin's office (my Family Physician) and felt a curiosity about medicine from a young age.  I admired the doctor and the personal nature of his practice in Miamisburg, OH.

3.  My mother got polio when I was a child which affected her legs and trunk, leaving her mobility impaired for a few months before an almost complete recovery.  Then she got depression (before antidepressants were invented) and was hospitalized for several months.

4.  Several musculoskeletal injuries and one repaired nasal septum in HS and at West Point refreshed my curiosities about medicine.  I kept thinking of becoming a physician.

5.  Medical school at Ohio State and Family Medicine training at Penn State in Hershey, PA taught me about individual and public health needs, from rural farms and nursing homes to small towns and Indian reservations in Arizona on a special multi-disciplinary elective experience with pharmacy and nursing students.  Special populations in PA, death and dying, Legionnaire's Disease, Three Mile Island with a partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor all added to my activist motivation.  Advocacy in organized medicine resulted from my desire to improve medical teaching and to enhance radiation safety.  It was a good start.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting.

    I have said in the past that I think it would be neat if physicians would unite in a marathon weekend and put up posts about when/why they decided to become physicians and why they chose their specialties.

    I think that would be so interesting. But one has ever done it.

    For that matter ...what makes anyone choose their profession? They say that sometimes what children play at the most ..may be an indicator of what they are designed to do. I always played teacher, wanted to be a teacher ..and then lost my focus due to home circumstances when older and did not follow that goal.

    I've always wondered if doctors have a special interest in frogs and flies and how things live when they are kids. Or maybe they see illness and know they want to help others.

    Thank you for sharing your story.