Stan Anderson, MD, FAAFP

Family Medicine Gives You All the Pieces to Complete the Puzzle

When I first started thinking of medicine as a career choice, I actually wanted to become a surgeon. The mystery of what was happening on the inside of the human body was fascinating to me, which had this intoxicating pull on my soul.

But as I began to have more interactions and contacts with all of the branches of medicine, I began to waver in my original dream. I realized that I loved taking care of the whole person, and not just the individual symptoms that a patient had in the present moment.

The drawback with specializing in one particular area of medicine is that you lose the opportunity to dive into everything else. So for me, a critical decision point that changed my career path was when I watched a skillful family physician, Paul Opsahl, MD, solve a complicated problem. It was in that moment that I realized that becoming a family physician was the right decision for me. I wanted to work those kinds of miracles, by taking all these disparate symptoms to try to solve the problem.

Each symptom becomes another piece of the puzzle; but when all the pieces are fitted together in the right way it can produce a beautiful picture. That is the beauty of family medicine; it’s the opportunity to use our skills from every discipline of medicine to deliver the most cost-effective quality medical care to our patients. Choosing to be a family physician is one the most fulfilling choices that can be made!

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