Dr. Joane Baumer
Q: What led you into the practice of family medicine?
Dr. Baumer: Family medicine engaged me early in my life. My family was privileged to have a wonderful family physician who encouraged me to go to medical school. The pivotal point, however, occurred for me during medical school in my second year when I was seeing patients with a local family physician in his office. His engagement with his patients and love of his discipline was inspiring. As I began to plan my clerkships, I realized that I could not give up on my desire to care for all patients across the lifespan. Dr. Gabriel Smilkstein was one of the faculty at the University of California, Davis, at the time who supported me in this decision when I was being heavily recruited into other disciplines. His mentorship was invaluable. As students, we were encouraged to develop a migrant farm workers clinic to gain more experience and insight into our own interests. It provided us with another view of health care outside of the academic health center. It still exists today.
Q: What is a typical day for you?
Dr. Baumer: Today, my practice of medicine is an engaging blend of direct patient care with my own patients about 20 percent of my time, teaching about 30 percent of my time, and administrative duties as a department chair about 50 percent of the time.
Q: How have things changed since you entered the field?
Dr. Baumer: The level of responsibility for a physicain has always been high, but today there is less emphasis on the individual physician as there was 30 years ago. Today, a physician is more likely to function in a team setting as a trusted advisor with a group. I feel a much greater level of partnership with my patients today because we both have access to the internet, electronic records, and wonderful educational tools as we research and learn what solutions may be best for them. It is an exciting time.