Sarah Metzger Tells Her Family Medicine Story

Sarah Metzger, MD will be representing the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) at the 2016 American Academy of Family Physicians conference called the National Conference of Constituency Leaders which will take place May 4-7, 2016 in Kansas City.

I was curious about and I wanted to gain insight on Family Medicine's future leaders. I was honored that Sarah accepted my invitation for the following interview below. My questions are on bold print. I've talked about the Family Medicine Revolution before. This Family Physician articulately paints the picture of Family Medicine advocacy. Here is Sarah Metzger, in her own words...

1) Why Family Medicine? Why is Family Medicine the best specialty for you? Family Medicine treats the entire person's physical, mental, and family health. I enjoy working within the community and family unit to empower patients. Knowing a patient and their family gives me insight into my patients' treasures and challenges. I love the variety. I love long term care and I love helping people learn common sense treatment strategies for common health problems. This strengthens a community. 

2) Please describe your practice situation. How do you deliver Family Medicine to your community? I work as a hospital employed Family Physician in Crestline, a small town of 5000 people in rural North Central Ohio. I was raised on a cattle farm 2 miles from my office. I run a Rural Health Clinic and have a nurse practitioner. I provide clinic-based outpatient care and round on my newborns in the nursery of Galion Community Hospital, a critical access hospital. I am the Medical Director for the Galion City Health Department, the city nearby where my primary hospital is located. I provide hospice care for my patients. I work to provide coordinated care for cradle to grave within my community.

3) For those OAFP members who have never attended the AAFP National Conference of Constituency Leaders, how would you describe it to them, and why should they attend the meeting next year? I think I'll be better able to answer this question after returning from NCCL in May! This is my first experience with the NCCL. Emily from OAFP staff reached out to me regarding becoming a delegate and I accepted. It's important to be involved with like minded physicians. It helps me avoid burnout and isolation.

4) Which member constituency group are you representing on behalf of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, and what are the 1-2 issues that need to be addressed specifically for this member constituency? I am representing the Women's Delegation at this year's NCCL for the OAFP. I gave birth to my fourth child in early March, and I'm excited to discuss the unique "work as a physician/life as a busy mom" dance that so many female physicians encounter. I am also interested in discussing working as a female physician minority on hospital committees and community boards.

5) Finally, what do you say to Family Physicians who are reluctant to participate in advocacy? Why is Family Medicine THE group to lead the change in our health care system? Not being involved leads to apathy very quickly. We need advocates for our patients and our communities because as family physicians I believe we are the most grounded providers who know what our patients experience every day. We know their secrets and joys. No one else has the insight to give them a voice like we do.