Keystone Physician Magazine - Summer 2019

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2019 PAFP AWARD WINNERS CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE IN FAMILY MEDICINE For more, visit: www.pafp.com

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PAFP Connect

Co-Exemplary Teacher of the Year

GORDON LIU, MD IN HIS OWN WORDS

EXEMPLARY TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER GORDON LIU, MD SPOKE WITH KEYSTONE PHYSICIAN ABOUT CHOOSING FAMILY MEDICINE AS A CAREER AND WHY TEACHING IS SO IMPORTANT AND REWARDING TO HIM. [Family medicine] was always something I think I wanted to do. Growing up in Toronto, in Canada, about 70 percent of physicians are family physicians. So that’s kind of what we know. Seeing the family doctor and that relationship that you have with a doctor is very unique and very special. You can’t see a specialist unless you see a family doctor in Canada, so I think that’s why the majority of docs go into family medicine, because of that primary care aspect. It’s very unique, and I think I have (ask my colleagues) a very outgoing personality, able to establish relationships, and I think that was probably one of the most important aspects – even during my time in Pittsburgh, having delivered one of my continuity patients, and now the child is almost 3 years old – getting the chance to see that, seeing them grow, is something that’s very unique. It’s one of those few specialties where you really get to do it all. With my special training in HIV and Hepatitis C, it’s allowed me to get more 22

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KEYSTONE PHYSICIAN

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SUMMER 2019

into the infectious disease world, which helps as well. So really, the relationships you have not only with your patients, but also helping primary care in that aspect, in how big it is and how important it is, whether it’s here or in Canada, or anywhere else in the world, a lot of successful health care systems really need a good primary care background and physicians. That’s how I was pushed toward it. All physicians, whether they got into academia or private practice, part of being a physician, the definition, is to teach. Educating is really important because of the fact that, if I took care of a patient panel of 2,000 patients, those patients will hopefully say that they’re in good care and receiving good quality care from me. But if I’m able to teach and disseminate, that means I’m going to be affecting a larger population. If I teach here, for example, like 26 residents total in the program, even if each one of them only had 1,000 patients and they took one part of what I taught them, that’s affecting 26,000 patients.