Cheers to the ‘Family of Family Physicians’
Our lives in medicine are made up of many stories. From the early days of making the decision about a career in medicine, to the day we were accepted into medical school, we’ve been collecting stories our entire lives. During medical school and residency, the story ‘banks’ continued to grow into our own personal libraries. Then, we each found in practice that the stories we continued to collect were now through the relationships we had with our patients, colleagues, and communities we serve.
Because it is the 70th anniversary of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, I think the first story I would like to share is a simple one. It began with Mary Jo Welker, MD, wondering if I might be interested in becoming more involved in the OAFP. She had been one of the pioneer women finding her way into the OAFP leadership, with respect for the many leaders that came before her, but also with a determination that women, too, had a contribution to make.
At first, I remember being a bit overwhelmed with the countless activities of the OAFP and their prominence within the American Academy of Family Physicians. I was also quick to notice how many people stepped forward to encourage, educate, and help me adjust to leadership opportunities. I have fond memories of Ross Black, MD, mentor extraordinaire. In spite of his very busy practice, teaching responsibilities, and OAFP leadership roles, he always had time to talk, encourage, and care for students. Mark Belfer, DO, was the jolliest of mentors, always with a joke, especially when you might have a challenging day as an OAFP leader.
Everywhere I looked, I found a caring family. Truly this ‘family of family physicians’ soon became a second branch of my own family. My husband, Larry, remarked that many physician meetings were rather formal and not terribly comfortable, but then he started to come to the OAFP meetings with me and you all became extended family to Larry, our son Bob (and his family), and I.
For those of you ‘new’ to the OAFP (for someone my age that means you are under the age of 70), or already part of the family, please join in the fun by contributing your story. I look forward to reading about the patients, families, medical students, residents, and practice partners who have touched your heart. Sharing your story is a tribute to the compassionate and caring family physicians of today and the humanistic practice of family medicine.
Share Your Family Medicine Story
If you’d like to share your story, please email it to Director of Membership Emily Pavoni as a Word document along with at least 2 photos.
Please keep all submissions to no less than 200 words, but no more than 1,000 words, if possible. If you have a Twitter or Facebook account and would like for us to tag you, please provide that in your email as well.