On a Personal Note

In the ten years since I first clicked “Publish” and posted my first piece on “A Country Doctor Writes”, I have published roughly the quantitative equivalent of Moby Dick and War and Peace combined. Not that I claim to be quite in their league, but have written quite a lot.

During this decade I have recertified twice as a Family Physician. I have buried both of my parents and several cats, dogs and horses. I have grayed significantly at the temples and I have gained and lost two pants sizes.

This week I received news that I passed my Board examination, 34 years after my first one, and I got an email that “A Country Doctor Writes” is one of the top 25 doctor blogs in the country.

On the day of my ten year anniversary I will be in Boston at a Harvard course for medical writers. Such a coincidental symbol of my milestone as a writer.

Listening to Audio Digest’s Family Medicine Review course on my way to and from work gave me a sense of renewal, and the other events this month make me feel that I am preparing for a professional growth spurt at an age when some of my contemporaries are retiring.

One of my purposes when I started this blog was to inspire the next generation of doctors and counterbalance some of the negativity I see among my colleagues today. I have seen that my writing has been republished and commented on in student doctor circles, and I have had some of them comment here, first as students and later as new doctors.

I have also tried to paint a picture of how rural medicine today is a soulful endeavor, allowing you intimate access into the lives of people in a way that is not very different from how doctoring was a generation ago.

I have created a fictional version of my community, its citizens, my colleagues, the nearby hospitals and the specialists in the city. But the essence of all of what I have written is pure truth. “Only the names have been changed”, as they say.

Thanks very much for reading.

(P.S. Because my senior colleague did retire, and because one of my contemporaries is planning to do so, I’m looking for one or two new partners. My email is in the sidebar on the right.)

5 Responses to “On a Personal Note”

  1. 1 towardssixty April 13, 2018 at 3:26 am

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  2. 2 A gilli April 13, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for your writing, from a Retired RN Congrats on 10yrs!

  3. 3 Laurence Bauer April 13, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Congratulations on your first decade and on all you have accomplished. You are a voice for Family Physicians, rural health and for healing in this era of the commodification of health care delivery.

  4. 4 Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D. April 13, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Congratulations Country Doctor, especially on passing boards (again). You inspired me when I started blogging 3 years ago. I hope I reach 10 years also.

  5. 5 H Kenneth Fisher May 4, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    As a retired urban sub specialist, now working part-time as a generalist, I want to commend you for pointing to the unresolved tension we face daily between doing our best for each patient, vs acting as stewards of public funds. Specialist referrals for minor problems? MRI for every knee injury? Months-long public-paid prescriptions for new Americans who want to go “home” for prolonged visits?

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Osler said “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”. Duvefelt says “Listen to your patient, he is telling you what kind of doctor he needs you to be”.


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