for Healthcare Education
at Miami University
Alumni Video: Just a Family Doctor
Featuring Mark Meacham (Miami 1985), MD
Medical Director of the Brunswick Family Health Center
(In this video Mark Meacham talks about the importance of primary care and family medicine.)
"Family medicine is actually a medical specialty. And I get asked a lot why I chose family medicine, and I get interesting responses when I tell people that I do family practice. Family medicine was what I really considered all along for medicine.
"I consider myself, as a family physician, the liaison between the patient and the medical community. If I write a book about myself, I'm going to title it, 'Just a Family Doctor.' Because I'm amazed, people ask me what I do. I say I'm a physician. They say what kind of a physician? A family doctor. Oh, just a family doctor? Yes, I'm just a family doctor.
"But as I spoke with the class yesterday, primary care, I truly believe, is going to be at the forefront of the future of medicine. We are going to be in charge of overseeing the patient's care, managing their care, controlling their costs, communicating with them. And I think primary care is going to have a vital role in the future of medicine.
"When people talk to me about why I decided to become a physician at all, the word I use to describe myself is I'm a lifer. I began at a very early age, had an interest in bones, in human anatomy. My father had a very tattered copy of an encyclopedia with the acetate pages, with the organ systems that overlay each other. I was looking at that as young as five. And there were other things I considered on my journey, but physician always stayed there. It was just something that was very early that I wanted to do.
"Primary care and family medicine, I think, have a big role in the future of medicine. And how I describe myself is sort of as the quarterback of the medical team: overseeing, running the plays, advising people where to go.
"We are in a very crucial time in medicine right now. We're looking to do more with less, and family medicine and primary care are the people that understand how to do that.
"So, the primary care role, I think, is crucial to what is coming, which is called the patient-centered medical home, which is something I spoke about with the students yesterday. It's sort of a one-stop shopping for medical care, which the primary care physician is going to be in charge of the care."