A question that is posed to me often is, "Why do you continue to see patients?" As I recently finished my annual clinical service at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, I thought it would be timely to respond to this question now.
First and foremost, I consider myself to be a physician. I enjoy the challenges and privileges of the patient-physician relationship. I attended medical school at The Ohio State University and performed my internship and residency in internal medicine at Duke University Medical Center – where I was chief resident in my final year. I then completed a fellowship in nephrology (the branch of medicine that deals with the physiology and diseases of the kidneys) at Duke. Until I joined MCW in July 2010, I spent three to six months per year taking care of hospitalized patients and those in dialysis units. I also attended in outpatient clinics two half-days per week. I love the challenge of clinical care!
As a nephrologist, I see men and women with hypertension, diabetes and other causes of renal failure. For seven years early in my career, I was chief of an exceptionally busy renal section at the Durham VA Medical Center. As a faculty member, I also was responsible for 100 renal transplant patients and 150 home renal dialysis patients. Those experiences honed my skills as a physician and forged a lifelong commitment to Veterans and patients with renal diseases.
As I moved up through the administrative ranks, I remained connected to patients by teaching rounds, taking nights and weekend call, and working several months per year in the dialysis unit. Now I spend up to a month each summer at the Zablocki VA, where I see patients with chronic renal failure, provide consultations, assist with dialysis and tend to acutely ill patients in the ICU and Emergency Department. I also teach medical students as well as housestaff and fellows who are rotating on that service.
I love caring for patients, especially Veterans – and I find it to be personally rewarding. This also helps me to keep my clinical skills sharp and to maintain my medical license. Most importantly, however, continuing to see patients sends a message to everyone at MCW that I am a faculty member – and that I remain in touch with all of the issues that impact our clinical enterprise.
Please feel free to share your input online or by contacting our editor at MCWmagazine@mcw.edu.
John R. Raymond, Sr., MD
Chief Executive Officer
Medical College of Wisconsin…8701 Watertown Plank Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-4725 | Fax: (414) 955-6699 | MCWmagazine@mcw.edu
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