Mitzi Rubin, MD, FAAFP was sworn in as the Georgia Academy’s president during the President’s Gala held in conjunction with the Annual Scientific Assembly in early November. Dr. Rubin is in practice with the WellStar Medical Group Family and Internal Medicine/Pediatrics in Marietta. Dr. Rubin is a proud Georgia Bulldog having completed her BS from the University of Georgia. She graduated from Chicago Medical School and completed her family medicine residency from Emory University.
President Rubin challenged her GAFP colleagues to continue to remember to care for themselves as much as family physicians care for their patients. She stated during her inaugural address (in part):
I am here today because of hard work and diligence. I grew up in a medical family. Dad is a gastroenterologist and mom a nurse. Medicine, for me was a part of life, spending time at the doctors lounge, working in my parents office. After, I joined a practice in Kennesaw- along with Dr Catherine Andrews- we had a Patient Centered medical home before there was a “name for it”- She was my mentor. I am grateful for her asking me to “get involved in the Academy.” Remember, you don’t ask to be a mentor but by leadership you are a mentor.
We have said again and again that there has never been a better time to be a family physician- and I believe this is still true. We are the only specialty that cares for the whole patient, from birth to death, treating over 90 % of all illness if not more. We are not just their doctor- we are part of their families- they trust us with information that they wouldn’t tell anyone else, their greatest fears, weaknesses, pains, their joys. We have been at every milestone from baby namings to funerals. We take care of multiple generations within a family.
I LOVE what I do, just as many of you do. This week alone I was reminded of why I love what I do. I welcomed in the next generation, newborn baby girl (I see 4 generations of that family) and unfortunately attended a funeral Thursday morning of a patient of whom I see 3 generations of his family.
Some of you may have heard that the AAFP has an initiative “Family Medicine for America’s Heath- Health is Primary.” This is a chance for us to tell our story. I highly recommend that you go to the website and sign up for their updates – http://fmahealth.org/.
What concerns me is what is not often talked about is our health- your health as a family physician! Our health, both physical and mental needs to be primary as well. If we are not doing well, then we can’t take care of our patients, families, communities. More and more physicians suffer from depression and are not necessarily seeking treatment. I argue that we love caring for our patients, we love what we do, but it is the external forces on medicine that bring the added stress, depression and dissatisfaction with the current state of healthcare.
I urge all of you to take the time to disconnect to reconnect- find your passion, what brings you happiness, remind yourself why you do what you do.