cal procedures, and you get to do a lot of work with all age ranges. So I thought, ‘This is what I’d like to do.’” After training at Duke and receiving a National Health Service Corps scholarship, Doubeni ended up going into academic medicine at the University of Massachusetts, then started a global health residency track with a partnership in Nicaragua. Finally, Doubeni settled at the University of Pennsylvania, where she serves as the director of population health management for the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Perelman School of Medicine.”
“What I tell students is, you can never have a career in family medicine and get bored. Those two just don’t go together – you can never get bored in family medicine. The breadth of it is so much that you can decide ‘I really like this,’ or ‘I can focus on this,’ but over time, that can really shift, and you can still work within your discipline.
“You can shift your interest, shift your understanding of what it means to take care of vulnerable populations,” she said. “For me, that’s one of the biggest pluses of family medicine. You have the ability to really meet people wherever they’re at. You can change what your understanding is around that and still be working “I’ve been able to get back to the community medicine aspect that I really enjoy: the home vis- within your discipline. There’s not a day that can its, understanding populations and what impacts be boring in family medicine.” their ability to access care, while at the same Her students certainly appreciate her love for the time still being very invested in teaching.” craft – her initial award nomination was from a Both Doubeni and her parents were right. Family trainee. medicine and teaching are competing passions “The award has been interesting, processing for her. what that means – it’s exciting, it was validating for me to have a learner and a trainee nominate “I think my initial understanding of academic me, because it meant that I really am reachmedicine had always been working in a big ing them where they need to be, and where the institution, dealing with all the politics and all of that, but what I did find as soon as left residency concept of teaching about vulnerable populations and the care of patients who are vulnerable was that I couldn’t live without students,” said has always been a passion,” said Doubeni. Doubeni. “Even in my community-based environment in a rural health center, I called up my “Having trainees understand that is a validation,” friends at Duke and said ‘Hey, I need medical students. I need learners. I need people that are she continued. “It’s also very humbling, because I know that as much of a passion, and as much interested in learning what’s going on here, and how to work with patients in this kind of setting.’ as my time and energy that I put into what I do That’s kind of when I found out that, as a physi- in family medicine, that there are hundreds of other physicians who have given their lives, their cian, I couldn’t actually not be a teacher too.” time, their families to the same pursuit and with the same passion. So to be picked for this this Doubeni loves the variety and scope that famyear is humbling, because I know there are othily medicine has to offer, and instills that in her ers who are equally deserving.” trainees. 12 | Keystone Physician | Summer 2017