Ted Wymyslo, MD, FAAFP

Because of My Mentors, I Believed I Could Become a Family Physician

Growing up in the inner city of Toledo, OH, I never really imagined I’d become a physician someday. My earliest health-related memories were either of my mom coming home from the hospital with one of my six brothers or sisters, or her taking some of us on the bus to the county health department for medical or dental care.

Fortunately, I was encouraged and helped by many along the way to consider being more than what I would have ever considered possible for myself. While growing up, I certainly had no shortage of opportunities to find understandable reasons to say no to new, seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Without a loving family and the encouragement of my teachers and advisors along the way, I am certain I would be living today with many regrets. Instead, I experience a daily feeling of tremendous joy and gratitude in having chosen medicine as a career, and in finding family medicine as my calling.

I know there are many students out there who struggle, like I did, in discovering the career for which they are uniquely wired. For that reason, I am very grateful to the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians and its membership for making student precepting a priority.

Having experienced the life-altering impact of a caring conversation, a moment of encouragement, a few extra minutes of clarifying instruction, a sharing of heartfelt insights, a passionate exchange about motivation, and many other attentions from my preceptors along the way, I have tried to give back that gift to students with every available opportunity.

Throughout my professional career, the OAFP has provided a solid base of support, led by family physician mentors who have demonstrated by their actions how we should be living, leading, and dedicating ourselves to a life of service to others – kept vital by a caring staff who believe in what we are doing and won’t let us forget who we are.

Happy 70th anniversary to the OAFP, a critical force in improving the health of Ohioans by growing and developing a vibrant family physician workforce!

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