What career path can lead to a profession in internal medicine?

Posted by Ronald | April 16, 2012  |  No Comment

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 49 million people are without health insurance coverage. The Supreme Court will decide in June on President Obama’s health care law which, ironically, is similar to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s health reforms he created six years ago as former Governor of Massachusetts. People without health insurance coverage are more likely to go undiagnosed and encounter severe health problems such as diabetes.  In the U.S., more than 26 million adults have chronic kidney disease. Diabetes and high blood pressure respectively are the leading causes of kidney failure according to the National Kidney Foundation.  In fact, more than 88,000 American adults die from the causes of chronic kidney disease with African-Americans being impacted at a rate three times that of Caucasians.

With the chronic diseases on the rise, this week’s column highlights the role of the medical profession.  Specifically, the questions to be asked are: What career path can lead to a profession in internal medicine? What educational background and training are essential for this profession? Who influenced Dr. Reginald S. Fowler to pursue a career in medicine? What advice does Fowler give to students desiring to pursue a career in medicine?

Internal medicine is a medical specialty that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases. Physicians who practice in this profession are called internists. According to the American College of Physicians, internists are sometimes referred to as the ‘doctor’s doctor,’ because they are often called upon to act as consultants to other physicians to help solve puzzling diagnostic problems.  Fowler is certified as an internist by the American Board of Internal Medicine and licensed by the National Board of Medical Examiners.  He has practiced medicine for over 30 years addressing patients’ health issues and performing comprehensive wellness exams to direct their path for good health.  Fowler currently resides in  Atlanta, Ga. with his wife and children.

Fowler is the first African-American in the United States chosen to participate in the Medical Doctor Value In Prevention (MDVIP), a national network of physicians who practice proactive, preventive and personalized health care, not just the detection and treatment of disease.  Fowler was destined for the medical profession and was influenced by his mother who was a licensed practical nurse to pursue medicine and later on by his peers in college. Fowler says he was always “interested in pursuing a career that would allow him to make a positive impact in the betterment of society.”  He says that he had an interest in the law but as time went on, medicine became his passion.

While the path to fulfilling all the requirements of the medical profession is very rigorous and challenging, Fowler says that in order to become a physician, “one must take courses that are designated as pre-medicine while in college. Fowler feels, along with his peers, that majoring in science is not necessary and highly recommends that students major in liberal arts while taking a pre-medicine curriculum as the best path toward pursuing a career in medicine.  After taking the premedical curriculum in college, one must go on to medical school for four years.

Fowler received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Brown University and a medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine.  He also completed his residency in internal medicine at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals in Atlanta.  Prior to joining Piedmont Physicians Group in Atlantic Station, Fowler was president of the Paces Ferry Medical Group for 23 years.  He also acts as a clinical preceptor and assistant professor for first and second year medical students at Morehouse Medical School. He helped start the first Multicultural National Advisory Board at Glaxo Pharmaceuticals and was named “Physician of the Year” in 2000 and 2001 by two metro Atlanta organizations.

Fowler has made a career of educating people about good health.  In expanding the utilization of his medical training, he has been involved with several community organizations such as the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, as well as speaking engagements for career explorations at numerous elementary, middle and high schools in the Atlanta community. Fowler has also volunteered as a physician for the boys and girls Amateur Athletic Union basketball and Atlanta Metropolitan College basketball and baseball teams among others.  Currently, he is a member of the Georgia State Medical Association, the Medical Association of Georgia and the National Lipid Association.  During his spare time, Fowler enjoys spending time with his family and dogs Kasper and Solo. He also likes fishing, playing the bass guitar and photography.

While Fowler is known for taking exceptional time to talk with his patients and making them feel extremely comfortable, his advice to students pursuing a career in medicine has always been that if one is interested in becoming a physician, that goal can be achieved.  He says, “hard work is the name of the game no matter what you decide to pursue and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve a goal.  A job should always be available for a physician no matter the state of the economy.  In fact, during the recent economic disaster in the United States, the health profession continued to add jobs.”

The Supreme Court has a tough decision to make regarding Obama’s health care law which will be at the center of debate for the 2012 presidential campaign. Regardless of the court’s decision, U.S. citizens must have access to proper prevention, detection and treatment of health issues. We thank Dr. Fowler for his commitment to providing outstanding health care and education to his patients and the community at large.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of the book, Education Questions to be Answered.  He is the President of The Holmes Education Post, an education focused internet newspaper. Holmes is the National Superintendent of Education for the National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc., a former teacher, school administrator, and district superintendent and can be reached at [email protected]


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