I am deeply honored to receive this award, especially after learning more about the late Dr. Eitrheim's impact on the lives of those around him through talking to his family, colleagues and reading his recently published book. I also wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Eitrheim's statement that being a family doctor in a small town is "continuous care of your friends and neighbors. My care is more than just a moral obligation, it is a desire to help friends and their families have a better life." Dr. Eitrheim clearly exemplified many of the traits I seek to continue to develop as a young physician.
I will be using the award to help defray travel and conference expenses to attend future AAFP conventions and conferences. This will help me continue to develop roots for my interest in community health advocacy. I grew up in a smaller community in Northeastern Wisconsin where my father is a Family Medicine physician. Seeing the job and life satisfaction he had from having deep connections to his patients inspired me to become interested in rural Family Medicine and the myriad of opportunities it offers. Family Medicine is also a great fit for me as I have enjoyed the challenges of trying to do it all for my patients. I also have an extensive musical background playing percussion and believe this versatility necessary to playing and mastering many instruments has guided me towards Family Medicine and its wide scope of practice.
In my future practice, I look forward to helping my local community by providing a unique set of skills and services I have accumulated throughout my training in a Rural Health Training Track residency.
Paul Stevens, MD