Local paper asks Dr. David Loxterkamp ‘What Matters in Medicine’

by Shaun Manning on April 19, 2013

Local newspaper Penobscot Bay Pilot interviewed David Loxterkamp, MD, on his recently-released book What Matters in Medicine: Lessons from a Life in Primary Care and about his 30 years as a family practice physician in Belfast, Maine. Dr. Loxterkamp noted that currently most doctors do not live in the community where they practice. “They don’t want patients to run into them at the YMCA or the grocery store. They like that separation.” But, he told the Pilot, “For me and for many primary care physicians immersion in the community is how we work. The community is a resource for us, not just a resource for the patients and their well being but also a resource for us in terms of our understanding of what influences their health.”

Dr. Loxterkamp discussed the themes of his book, in which he writes about eight patients who influenced his career as a doctor, touching again on the idea of community. When a physician lives near the people he treats, Loxterkamp said, he is able to build relationships beyond the doctor-patient dynamic. “One day you’re their doctor, the next day they’re your car mechanic, the next day they’re your son’s teacher, the next day you teach Sunday school for their children,” he told the Pilot. “Whatever it is, we have multiple relationships and we see people in multiple different circumstances and that’s how I think we have an understanding of what they value, what they’re ready to change in their life, what they need to change in their life.”

For the full interview, visit the Penobscot Bay Pilot web site. And to read more about Dr. Loxterkamp’s experiences, pick up What Matters in Medicine.

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