Beverly Flowers Jordan, MD, FAAFP, practices family medicine in the rural community of Enterprise, Alabama. She is part of a four-physician partnership that employs a certified registered nurse practitioner and provides ancillary services to its patients, which include the population of the farming community around Enterprise and the local military base. She has a certificate of added qualification in sports medicine, and also serves as chair of the board of directors of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians.
Q: What led you to family medicine?
Dr. Jordan: I knew from a very young age — in elementary school — that I wanted to be a physician. In college, I worked with the athletic department at the University of Alabama as an atheltic trainer, and our team physician was a family physician who specialized in sports medicine. Through that experience, I knew I wanted to do the same thing. I really enjoyed the family rapport he has with his patients, the highly competitive athletes, the focus on wellness and exercise, and how much of a difference he has made in his patients' lives.
Q: What is a typical day for you?
Dr. Jordan: I work in my office practice four days a week for about 10 hours a day. I also see patients in our local nursing home. I utilize our hospitalist for inpatient care for my patients, although this is a relatively new change for me. I am active with my children's schools and sports activities, as well as with my church. I have a work hard-play hard mentality. I enjoy my work but I work hard, and then after work is my time to spend with my family and friends. I am also active with the AAFP and travel routinely for meetings and conferences. I usually take my family with me on these trips so they can enjoy the experience of new cities and reunite with friends in the medical community.
Q: How have things changed since you entered the field?
Dr. Jordan: The biggest change has been the advent of hospitalist care, which has definitely improved my lifestyle.
Q: What surprised you most as a new physician?
Dr. Jordan: My biggest surprise was the cost of owning my own practice, which was profitable after only three months. However, the initial sticker shock of overhead definitely made me nervous. I feel we need to do a better job of explaining to students the true cost of running a practice, and this is something we are working on at the AAFP.
Q: What do you love about your work?
Dr. Jordan: I love taking care of my patients and the difference I can make in their lives. They are like family, and there is nothing more rewarding that hearing a patient tell another how I saved his or her life.
Q: What community service activities are you involved in and what motivates you to do this kind of work?
Dr. Jordan: My community service is motivated by the same desire that motivates me to be a physician — a desire to help others. I believe to whom much is given, much is expected. I am one of the most educated, well-traveled and well-compensaved people in my community, and I want to use that for the good of all of those in my community. I work through my church, my children's schools, and our local service league to assist in multiple projects in our community.
Q: What is your most vivid memory from medical school?
Dr. Jordan: The good times with all of my medical school friends. The classes were hard and the hours were tough on the wards, but we worked together and those are some of the strongest bonds of friendship I have. Distance may separate us, but we communicate daily.
Q: What advice would you give yourself back in medical school?
Dr. Jordan: Absorb anything you can, learn as much as you can. The things you may think are trivial now may be just the things you need to know later when an attending is not around to ask questions. There will never again be a time when someone else is ultimately responsible for your patients and you can take time to study and learn freely.
Q: What has been the greatest challenge you have faced as a family physician?
Dr. Jordan: Keeping up with all of the daily changes in medicine. I try to stay up-to-date through journals, CME conferences, and the internet.
Q: What do you tell undecided medical students who are considering family medicine?
Dr. Jordan: Do what you love, and if you love everything — especially people and their families — then family medicine is for you!
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Medical School & Residency
In Their Own Words: Family Physician Q&As
Dr. Beverly Flowers Jordan