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In Doctoring Vocation Above All

My interview with Karen Smith is here.

My interview with Andrew Goldstein is here.

I, like so many of those who filled the first ranks of family practice, often described my career choice as a calling, a vocation, something more than a meal ticket. It was a source not only of pride and conviction but also resentment and resistance to change. By mid career I was largely out of step with new movements in family medicine that veered from the generalist approach toward focused fellowships, added qualifications, and office practices that opted out of obstetrics and hospital work. As often happens, it was a patient of mine who brought the issue into focus and showed me the potential that lay in each encounter. We long for connection—doctor and patient alike—and for the skill and compassion to express it without judgment or self-denial. There is no higher calling.

David Loxterkamp, MD

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

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