Why I Became a Family Physician
I graduated from Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine in 1966. After an internship, I planned to enter a residency in internal medicine at IU. At that time, physicians were being drafted into the military because of the Vietnam War. I elected to serve my tour of duty and then enter into a residency. I was fortunate to be stationed in Japan and essentially did family medicine for three years.
At that time, family medicine had just become a specialty and residencies were just starting to pop-up. I felt family medicine may be for me, so I decided to try the program for at least one year and then if I wasn’t satisfied with the experience, I would enter an internal medicine residency. I entered the family medicine program at Akron City Hospital in Akron, OH. The director, being a pioneer in family medicine, Edward Shahady, MD, was a major influence in my continuing residency. He also encouraged me to get involved in the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, which culminated into my election as OAFP president in 1990.
From 1972 to 2010, I practiced family medicine in Bryan, OH, delivering more than 2,000 babies, caring for children as well as the elderly, and mentoring medical students from the Medical School of Ohio in Toledo. I was a clinical professor of family medicine at MCOT and medical director of the Bryan Area Health Education Center. I loved my years in family medicine and owe a lot of my success and decision-making to the military, Dr. Shahady, and the OAFP.
To quote a famous phrase by Tom Todd, MD, “Thank God I’m a family physician.”
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