As you'll see on page 1178 of this issue, “Diary from a Week of Practice” has undergone a change in contributors. Earlier this year, Walter L. Larimore, M.D., who had for the past nine years coordinated “Diary from a Week in Practice” along with John R. Hartman, M.D., left his practice in Kissimmee, Fla., to join the staff of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs. Until last month, the Kissimmee practice continued to contribute to the series, but new contributors are now in place.
“Diary,” which highlights day-to-day experiences in family practice, debuted in the January 1992 issue and has been popular among AFP readers ever since. In January 1998, we celebrated the 100th Diary entry contributed by Drs. Larimore and Hartman, and we are ending their series with close to 150 total entries. However, Dr. Larimore's move prompted plans for a change in the composition of the department, and last winter we began looking for contributors who would represent a variety of family practice settings.
AFP's editor Jay Siwek, M.D., received an enthusiastic response to our inquiries and, after reviewing stacks of sample entries submitted by various practices, we have selected four new contributors from different family practice settings. These contributors will be providing real-life stories about their day-to-day experiences caring for patients in urban, rural, private, academic and under-served sectors.
The series opens with contributions from John O'Handley, M.D., director of the Mount Carmel Outreach Program in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. O'Handley, who spent years in private family practice and academic medicine, now helps provide medical care to uninsured and homeless patients in addition to seeing his regular patients two mornings a week. The outreach program has a motor coach equipped with examination rooms, a pharmacy, radiography unit, basic laboratory and patient education area, and it travels to homeless shelters. Medical students and family practice residents also do clinical rotations with the outreach program.
Also lined up as contributors to the series are Tony Miksanek, M.D., Benton, Ill.; Robert H. Shackleford, M.D., Mt. Olive (N.C.) Family Medicine Center; and Kathy Soch, M.D., Corpus Christi Family Practice Residency Program, affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Miksanek is in private practice at a rural health clinic in southern Illinois and as a small town family physician has many stories to share. Dr. Shackleford is part of an urban family practice with five other physicians, three physician assistants and a nurse practitioner. Dr. Soch represents the academic family medicine setting and is one of nine full-time family practice faculty members at the Corpus Christi residency program. The 29-year-old community-based residency program serves a diverse population, including indigent and private patients.
Diary contributions from these four practice settings will rotate from issue to issue. Our fondest farewells and thanks go to Drs. Larimore and Hartman and their colleagues in Kissimmee for many heartening stories over the years. Now, it is time to pass the “quill.”