Member of the Month: Farron Hunt, MD
TAFP Board member practices in hometown
Three years into medical school at UTMB Galveston, Farron Hunt, MD, was displaced due to Hurricane Ike and had to complete her fourth year in North Texas. She then completed a family medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and moved to Beaumont, near her hometown of Port Arthur, where she is now the medical director and practicing physician at a wound care center. Hunt was recently elected to serve on the TAFP Board of Directors as the special constituencies director.
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it?
I applied to medical school thinking I was going to be forensic pathologist. For the first two years of medical school I was in pathology circles and even president of a student pathology group. My first rotation of third year was family medicine and that changed everything. Though I had interests in solving the mystery of someone’s death, I was better suited to interact with living patients. I did my rotation in my hometown with my own family doctor from childhood. I saw how engaged and familiar the interactions of the physician and staff were with patients. I saw what continuity and scope of practice truly mean and how that translates to providing needed care to the patient. I had a revelation and realized that I genuinely enjoy what family medicine offers. I can have it all and I don’t have to choose a particular aspect of medicine. My experience during that clerkship was invaluable and it ultimately led to my pursuit of my career in family medicine.
How would you define the mission of your practice?
Being charged to heal the sick is a gift and an honor. I seek to positively impact the lives of patients and the community for the better by providing quality care to optimize their lives and to lead by example.
The most important resource I find TAFP offers me is:
It’s tough to narrow this down to one thing. I have had a positive experience with the TAFP and I would attribute that to the camaraderie fostered with excellent, diverse, experienced family physicians passionate about helping other family physicians succeed in our day to day lives and as a whole.
What one word or phrase characterizes your style of family medicine?
Compassionate, resolved, and comprehensive
What is the most interesting/memorable experience you have had when dealing with a patient?
I have had several memorable experiences and meaningful exchanges with patients over the years. It’s these encounters that keep me encouraged that helping heal patients is my calling. At our center, when a patient’s wound heals, the patient signifies it by ringing a bell in the front office. It is rewarding to heal a patient’s six-month foot ulcer that carried the risk of amputation and navigating through a busy clinic day. Hearing the bell ring puts a smile on my face.
What is something the “real world” has taught you about being a family physician that medical school didn’t teach you?
This question has been my biggest challenge and reward thus far. I’ll mention two key concepts: leadership and wound care. It has taken a few job transitions to get to my current job and career. Part of succeeding in any work place is understanding the people you work with. As physicians we are trained to care for the patients and we understand how to advocate for the patient when it comes to addressing clinical concerns and even public health concerns. We have also been trained to work and respect the members of our team including nurses, educators, technicians, front office staff, etc. Beyond those experiences there is a void in connecting with administrators, managers, community and city officials, and even other physicians when it doesn’t directly concern a specific patient. Understanding how to advocate for your patients and your community may hinge on fostering those connections as well your ability to successfully network, market yourself and your practice, advocate updating practice guidelines, implement a new system, and secure resources and staff that affect your day to day operations. I learned these skills over the last several years through experience and opportunities to grow and serve in leadership roles.
Working in wound care has taught me the value of being open to new ideas and concepts. Little formal education is committed to teaching wound care but I got a glimpse of it in residency. I received additional training and education prior to starting this job. Wound care is a vast and growing field and family physicians are adept to treat and care for wounds given our diverse training. I have found working in wound care to be a new but rewarding opportunity.
What made you decide to become involved in TAFP business?
Once I completed residency, I found that I had more time to be involved in TAFP. The support and leadership TAFP offered has been invaluable. I wouldn’t dream of being any other physician than a family physician. TAFP and AAFP supported me with a scholarship as a medical student, with support to attend national conference as a resident, and again with support as a new physician with opportunities to serve as a leader and further hone my leadership ability. Support and opportunities like this in an environment of dynamic, motivated, and extraordinary family physicians keep me encouraged and vested to give back.
How do you spend your free time?
I like to consider my life outside of medicine just as varied and thriving as family medicine. Practicing in my hometown has had its perks. I enjoy that I can walk to my family church. When I can I rollerblade or ride my bicycle near my old time happy place, a nearby canal with a paved seawall. I also meet up with high school classmates from time to time. At times with my mother’s help, I can get swept up in a weekend project around my home and I’m still trying my hand at gardening.
Tell me something fun (unrelated to medicine) about yourself.
Once I satisfy the fantasy of being a lounge singer for one night only, if I weren’t in medicine, I’d be a pastry chef, sailboat enthusiast, novelist, inventor, and entrepreneur with a nonprofit travelling the world to a make difference.
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in TAFP News Now and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting TAFP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 329-8666. View past Members of the Month here.