McDoc

Just another Medical Humanities Blog

About

A native of Southern California, I graduated in 2007 “with Distinction in Humanities” from the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. I am a “non-traditional” (read: mid-life-crisis-old) entrant to medicine. My odyssey goes like this…

I served 10 years in the United States Marine Corps as a Military Working Dog Handler in the Military Police. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Chapman University while on active duty. As a civilian, I worked as a Community Educator for Planned Parenthood. At the same time, in the Army National Guard, I graduated Officer Candidate School and was commissioned in the Armor Branch, serving in the Army Reserve as well. Then as an Alternative Education Teacher, I taught upper-grades elementary, middle school and high school students in self-contained classrooms serving foster care groups homes. After I could no longer ignore and/or avoid my call to medicine, I worked full-time as a Mental Health Worker and Recreation Therapy Aide while a full-time pre-med student. I was in a Graduate Cell Biology program, when I was accepted into medical school at the age of 42.

After graduating from medical school in 2007, I was an Emergency Medicine resident for two years at Detroit Receiving Hospital. For several, salient reasons, not the least of which was developing a full-blown sleep disorder, I found that the specialty and I were not a good match. So, I changed residency programs, cities and specialties. I completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. I completed a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. I am now a faculty member in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh. My chief focus is cancer rehabilitation.

I have written poems for over 15 years, some published in small literary annuals. I had the honor of participating in an ongoing poetry workshop. I sang in a community choir, a church choir. I also sang for 2 seasons with a small, mixed ensemble that focused on polyphony and chant. I have an adult son by my first marriage. I am remarried. My wife is Miss Music Nerd.

In February 2010, I began contributing to Pallimed: A Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog. In the aftermath of the January 12, 2010 earthquake, I served on a medical mission to Haiti in April 2010, with the organization Healing Hands for Haiti through its local affiliate Boston Healing Hands. At St. Boniface Hospital in Fond-des-Blancs, Haiti, I treated, patients with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations and severe fractures. I also worked in a general medical clinic, seeing about 70 patients in one afternoon, and made the diagnosis of malaria several times. My malaria prophylaxis appears to have worked. In February 2012, I returned to Haiti with Boston Healing Hands to provide additional training in spinal cord injury rehabilitation to the medical, nursing and rehabilitation staff at St. Boniface Hospital in Fond-des-Blancs.

My goal here is to keep my interest alive in medical humanities during my medical training, and to independently document some of my activities in the medical humanities.

It took a lot of energy and focus to make the transition from one residency program to another, from one specialty to another, and from one town to another, hence the hiatus in posting from December 2008 to November 2009.

One Response to “About”

  1. Heather and Co. said

    Hey! I’m glad I now know that you have a blog!

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