Dr. Peter Wolfe: Reflections on 30 Years at McFarland Clinic


In 1985 I was completing a residency in Family
Medicine at Broadlawns Medical Center and had done an elective where I had come to work
at McFarland Clinic in the Acute Care department which in those days was a walk-in clinic. The clinic seemed large to me then, and there
were different specialties that were coming into their own during those days. I was part of the initial group of physicians
who staffed the Mary Greeley emergency department which began in 1987. So I would be in Acute Care at the main clinic
during the day. At five o’clock I would go to work at Mary
Greeley and stay ’til eight AM the next morning, which you could do when you were younger,
and as I grew older I couldn’t do that anymore, but we always had the next day off. In the early 1990s, McFarland looked at the
need for Family Medicine in Ames, in McFarland Clinic. We wanted patients to establish with a family
doctor, in other words get to know them and then for them to know their patients. And so my job actually phased out of Acute
Care and went into Family Medicine in the early 1990s. And my first office was actually in the same
room where they had a phototherapy booth for the Dermatology patients that needed light
therapy for psoriasis, so in the very corner was this phone booth-like contraption and
my nurse had a desk in that office so it was pretty tight quarters. Travel Medicine’s origins were actually in
Acute Care back in the 1980s. Part of a traveler’s care at McFarland Clinic
included reviewing their vaccination history and what medications are recommended. Travel Medicine was something that became
a specialty in the 1990s. I’ve always enjoyed Travel Medicine. The patients are fun, they do interesting
things, and it was a surprisingly fun part of my practice of medicine over the years. I’d like to say that it’s been a sweet ride
at McFarland Clinic for so many years. And I believe that one of the smartest
things I ever did was to accept a position here at McFarland Clinic. Throughout my career we have always put the
patient first, and I’ve always said throughout the years that my job has never been dull
because no two days are ever the same. And I’ve seen such a wide variety of patients
and problems over the years and feel blessed to have gone down that path over time.

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