I believe that we all take our hats off to the Family Practitioner, even in this age of specialty focus. Those who choose the specialties may even lead the salute.
In an age where we are all used to going to many different specialists as knowledge of and training for each medical problem expands, we are all still dependent on our family practitioners to know us intimately. We know that years of training and expense, both financially and in life itself, go into the focus that produces each physician.
The greatest expense in years and cost is incurred by specialists, even though their financial rewards are usually greater. It is the specialists also who garner the most attention and are the physicians we read about and talk about most often. We boast about Aaron Vinik, M.D. at the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center, who is world renowned for his research in, and treatment of, diabetes and neuropathy. Christopher Walshe, M.D. is a highly respected specialist in the urogynecology field for women who have suffered with those sensitive problems for too long. Orthopedic surgeon Joel Stewart, M.D., graduated from Harvard Medical School and went on to make a name for himself in reconstructing feet, among other orthopedic problems, and will repair mine when the time comes. How fortunate we are to have such specialists right here in Hampton Roads.
It is the family practitioner
who is the backbone
of the medical system.
Who among us, medical professionals and patients alike, do not have stories of the miracles performed by specialists we are privileged to have right here? We've told many of their stories and will tell many more in the issues to come.
So why highlight specialists as we celebrate the Family Practitioner? We do so to let these too often unsung family physicians know that these colleagues still stand in awe of what they do, quietly and with little fame, embracing their patients and their families over a lifetime, sometimes treating, sometimes trusting others to care for whatever unique problems arise. They have to have such a spectrum of knowledge, consider so many elements of the total care picture and work so tirelessly. It is the family practitioner who is the backbone of the medical system.
We salute them.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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