Today’s blog is a letter I wrote that was published in the Washingtonian Magazine in response to a story on a local Medical family.
The wonderful story on the Buffalo, N.Y. medical family brought back a flood of wonderful memories. I knew Dr.Joseph (Grand dad) personally and was a colleague, although I was younger than he.
I too, did General Practice in Buffalo, N.Y. My experience was so similar. My father, JosephR.Giunta, M.D., was a General Practitioner for 50 plus years. In those days General Practitioner did everything; OB-Gyn, Surgery, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Orthopedics, Trauma, etc. They were truly supermen in the golden age of medicine before super-specialization, Medicare/Medicaid, 911, managed care, big insurance companies, and a host of other related things
I went on house calls, many at night, with my father; saw my first appendectomy at seven and early morning hospital and home deliveries. Much pro bono work and payment in “chickens and eggs” seemed to be standard.
After graduating from GeorgetownMedicalSchool (as my father and brother did) I did internship and residencies for two years in the State University of New York at Buffalo system. I then entered General Practice for two years, doing house calls (over 400), office and some hospital work.
Alas, it was getting to the age of specialization and I realized that this was my future. I went back to school and in 5 years, became a specialist in Otolaryngology, Facial Plastic and Cosmetic surgery. I moved to the D.C. area (25 years ago) to be in a large, “recession proof” (Ha, Ha!) metropolitan area. The journey from “small town” General Practice, which has now morphed into Family Medicine, to big city Cosmetic Surgeon has been a most marvelous one.
Medicine today is phenomenal and I don’t think a lot of the old General Practitioners would believe what we do.
Would I go back? Not at all; nostalgia aside! I love what I do and the field allows me the expression and fulfillment of old and new and the fierce independence my dad taught me. I may walk in his footsteps, but I could never fill his shoes!
StephenX.Giunta, M.D., F.I.C.S.
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