Excerpt from a December 1998 statement written to apply for a position in a family practice residency program (an additional 3 year hospital-based program designed to train physicians in the specialty of Family Practice). –David B. Christian, MD
“…I am attracted to Family Medicine for several reasons: I have a young family of my own that reminds me daily of the richness of a healthy life; I prefer the wide breadth of medical knowledge to allow me to make a direct and continuous contribution to the lives of my patients; I feel the enthusiasm for primary care education is at its highest and therefore at its best.
My first career as a musician helped me develop attributes that will be critical for me as a Family Physician. At age eight, I convinced my mother to rent a drum and pay for lessons. I learned to play well through discipline and determination, and subsequently enjoyed an exciting career that took me across the United States and to several foreign countries. I learned to work responsibly in a team environment, to live on a tight budget, and to adapt to new personalities, diverse cultures and locales.
After music, I focused on biology and the health sciences, another avenue of strong interest I discovered during my high school years. Eager to explore work in a hospital, I supported myself through college as a respiratory therapist where I gained valuable patient care experience. Long hours in the ICU and ER nurtured my ability to stay calm in a crisis. It felt natural and comfortable to talk to, touch, and treat my patients. They seemed to appreciate that I saw them as people, not just as a disease or diagnosis. This impressed upon me the importance of the social and psychological aspects of medicine and healing.
I entered chiropractic college to continue my studies in health care. As a chiropractor, I enjoyed treating musculoskeletal conditions in a wide variety of patients; from the “little leaguer” to the professional athlete; the adolescent to the elderly. But over time it became clear to me that I could do so much more for my patients, in both preventive care and treatment, if I were to broaden my scope of knowledge and training. Long discussions with family physicians in my clinic, who also became physicians later in life, assuaged any doubt that it might be too late. I enrolled in medical school…”