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
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.