|To contact Dr. Paeglow, call toll-free: (877) 227-3969|
Touching Our Future
Dr. Bob Paeglow, founder of Compassion in Action/Koinonia Primary Care teaches medical students that the art of medicine is as important as the science. He shows medical students that understanding the needs and hopes of the individual is as important as treating their pain and suffering.
Throughout his medical education and residency, Dr. Bob saw that many of his colleagues started out with very idealistic dreams to make a difference in the lives of others and society as a whole. Many shared the same hopes and values as he did, but few followed through with them. Dr. Bob wanted to understand why this was happening, and what allowed one person to keep that idealistic flame burning while it was extinguished in others. He concluded that students needed to experience teachers and physicians as role models from the very start of their careers.
"When I was a medical student, I often found myself fighting for a moment of contact with attending physicians; but when I was in clinic with Dr. Paeglow, I felt like his patients’ wellness and my education were top priorities. As he models service and teaching, pouring his life into students, he has also sought opportunities for me to teach first-year students during after-hours clinical skills instruction. Meeting Dr. Paeglow was a turning point for me. Since then, I have become more passionate than ever in my desire to be a Family Physician in a community with limited access to medical care. And, of course, in the tradition which Dr. Paeglow has instilled in me, I will seek to impart that passion to others. I believe Dr. Paeglow is one of the most uniquely gifted and devoted teachers in medicine today. I can’t imagine how differently my career path would be had I not had the opportunity to meet this unbelievable human being.”
Dr. Bob also believes that students need to have first-hand experiences of caring for the destitute. For this reason, Dr. Bob insists that students join him at all times, during his clinical practice and on medical missions to foreign countries. The students receive first-hand exposure to service in action, and they witness why it is so valuable and appreciated. They experience profound joy, when a smile or hope is restored to a patient and his or her loved ones. This joy is not something one can simply read about to understand – it must be personally experienced over and over until it becomes one’s driving force and motivation.
To teach students to treat patients with the respect and compassion they deserve, Dr. Bob has created numerous programs at Albany Medical College (AMC) enabling students to become involved in the care of patients at Koinonia Primary Care and learn an art that can only be taught by experience. One such program is Project Medscope, a volunteer program run by the office of Family Practice at AMC, through which students can work alongside Dr. Bob to provide comprehensive care to the underserved.
Dr. Bob was also instrumental in implementing a program called “Care from the Start” (CFS), which allows students to be fully immersed in caring for the underserved. His vision is that by the end of the training period, students will consider serving in such an environment after their residency. During the first two years, students hone their clinical skills, as well as shadow physicians in clinics for the underserved, such as Koinonia Primary Care. Their education focuses on problems common to poor, inner-city communities, but it is not confined to the four walls of a clinic. Community involvement and activism is encouraged as the students serve as patient advocates. The curriculum also stresses effective resource management and overcoming barriers to adequate health care. Students are mentored directly by Dr. Bob and are taught fundamentals of primary care medicine as well as how to be committed, caring doctors. CFS is well received by the students and often has a waiting list of participants. The curriculum is being promoted as a replicable model which physicians around the country can use to provide quality healthcare to underserved communities.
© Copyright 2011 Compassion in Action