Jul 17, 2023

Volunteering gives back – to you

My parents taught all their children the importance of hard work and of giving back to their communities. I am grateful they did because volunteering has been one of my greatest sources of joy. I have been blessed to have helped students, indigent patients, and athletes. I enjoy the variety that it gives to my routine and the knowledge that I have helped so many people in my hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Every month for 40 years, I spend an evening volunteering at the St. Petersburg Free clinic. I see patients who otherwise couldn’t have afforded to see a doctor. The clinic is a value-add to the community and I value the opportunity to serve our most needy residents.

Teaching and advising students is another way that I give back to my community. I have precepted hundreds of family medicine residents at Bayfront Medical over the past 30 years. I have also helped train over 2,000 medical students, nurse practitioner students, physician assistants and high school students through my volunteer work at St. Petersburg Catholic High School, Eckerd, USF, and other colleges from the country.

Thirty years ago, I created a medical class at St. Petersburg Catholic High School called ‘Introduction to Medicine’ and in that time more than 60 volunteer physicians (myself included) have given their time to teach the class. It’s thrilling to witness students discover a love for medicine.

Interacting with inquisitive learners keeps me on my toes. The medical field is a practice and we are always learning new things. I value my students’ perspectives and insight and take pride in facilitating their growth.

Finally, I love sports and have been an athlete all my life. I have provided free sports physicals for Saint Petersburg Catholic athletes since 1980, served with the medical team at the Saint Anthony’s triathlon, and was the medical team physician for both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Rays.

I feel so fortunate to have chosen a field that allows me to give back. It keeps my days interesting and grounds me to the things that really matter- my family, my faith, and my community.

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