Attracted to the Helping Professions
From the time I was young I was attracted to the helping professions. Certainly, in high school I was further drawn into medicine in particular. I was interested in following in the footsteps of my father, who had been a physician. My desire was probably confirmed when I became a patient myself, having undergone major knee surgery after a high school football injury. I was intrigued by the medical profession and its commitment to restoring one to health. In college as an elite athlete I developed a deeper appreciation for the human body, especially as I took premedical science courses.
Whole Person Medicine
While a medical student I became interested in the approach to helping patients achieve fully integrated health in body, mind, and spirit. I was intrigued especially with the concept of “whole person medicine”. I thoroughly enjoyed my third year rotations in pediatrics, surgery, psychiatry, and general medicine. Perhaps I was most influenced by my wife, Carol, who delivered our first two children during medical school. I then personally experienced the miracle of childbirth as a father and Carol strongly encouraged me to do residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
My philosophy of practice really developed after the rigorous residency years. While I received excellent training in the specialty of OB/GYN during residency I came to realize there is much more to the care of women. I was also positively influenced by my group practice colleagues in Grand Rapids, MI early in my practice years. They were excellent mentors. The patients there were also a profound influence, even as they sometimes dealt with very difficult pregnancies and gynecologic problems. I came to appreciate a number of things, including a deeper respect for the truth and meaning of marriage and sexuality. Further study and learning from other physicians around the country helped form my perspective.
Affirming Sublime Values
All this has encouraged me to develop a vision of womens’ health that embraces the supreme gift of fertility, the beauty of nuptial love, and the truth of the person. Incorporating these sublime values into the everyday patient encounter is my goal. Like the sacredness of the mountains, flowers, streams, and wildlife all around us so, too, the human person is sacred. Women, especially, reveal this mystery. My hope is to affirm all this in our practice as we care for women.