Four of this year's Top Doctors describe a defining career moment
Misty Blanchette Porter, M.D.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Louise Brown, the first baby conceived in the world with IVF, was born in 1978. I wrote my high school senior thesis project on the process of in vitro fertilization with great fascination. A natural love of biology, combined with a desire to pursue a career in medicine and the recognition that children are great gifts in patients’ lives led me to pursue a career as a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. My mentor in reproductive medicine and infertility was a very talented laparoscopic surgeon, infertility clinician and careful listener. I stayed to work under him for my three years of fellowship with a balance of experience in reproductive surgery, in vitro fertilization and infertility care and gynecologic ultrasound.
The affirmation that I have made the right decision comes to me every day. I see children in the community that I have helped to become part of families, at hockey games, on the football field, at a bakery and in pictures over the years in holiday cards, and I am deeply touched. To share in this remarkable process for patients is a constant reminder it is an honor to touch these lives so deeply.
Douglas Marks, M.D.
Elliot RheumatologyAssociates at River’s Edge
As a medical student at the University of Massachusetts, I spent a month on the rheumatology service. At that time the first “biologic” medications, a class of therapies designed in the lab based on our rapidly advancing understanding of the immune system, were just becoming available. I had the opportunity to witness the amazing impact these agents were having on some patients whose diseases were previously refractory to more traditional therapies. I recall one patient in particular, a woman with advanced rheumatoid arthritis. She had just received her first IV infusion of one of these new medications, and the next morning was able to get out of bed easily and walk without the severe pain and stiffness in her joints that had plagued her for many years. It was observing this woman and many similar patients that led me into the field of rheumatology, with the hope that I could help people with previously disabling diseases achieve full and productive lives.
Dr. Praveen Suchdev, M.D.
I’ve had so many heart-warming stories over my 20 years of practice that have affirmed my decision to pursue my practice of pain management. It is a blessing to come to work every day knowing you can help ease pain suffering.
The one event I can remember that affirmed my decision was during my pain management fellowship. I was taking care of a patient dying of cancer, who was suffering from intractable pain. Over the few weeks prior to her passing, not only was I able to help her live her last few days in peace and comfort, but we became good friends. She taught me, early in my career, about courage, dignity and the special meaning of life. I try to carry those lessons with me every day. Rarely does a day pass that her wisdom does not cross my mind and my practice of medicine. For that, I will forever be grateful.
Charles Carrier, M.D.
Queen City Medical Associates
As a young medical student, I had not decided that Internal Medicine would be my chosen career. However, I was required to spend four weeks with a family physician as a second year medical student. I chose to satisfy this obligation by shadowing Dr. Dubar, the family practitioner from my hometown of 1,300 people in rural New York State.
Doc Dubar: the very physician who had cared for me since age 7, and had, delicately, delivered the news that the broken bone, acquired at summer camp, would prevent me from starting football that fall; the very same doctor who took care of my parents, three brothers and most of my neighbors.
Now, on the other end of the stethoscope, I began to see the tremendous rewards gained by forging personal, caring and trusting relationships through continuity of care as a primary care physician. What a privilege it has been to have gained the confidence of patients who have allowed me a seat at the table of their lives.
Thank you, Dr. Dubar.