Members Move Medicine: Family tragedy sparks passion for medicine

AMA Wire
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The AMA "Members Move Medicine" series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine.

On the move with: Frank Alexander Clark, MD, a psychiatrist in Greenville, South Carolina, who chairs the AMA Minority Affairs Section Governing Council and has taken part in the AMA Doctors Back to School™ Program.

AMA member since: 2003.

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: I witnessed firsthand the impact that debilitating illnesses like Parkinson’s and hypertension had on my father and our family unit. My curiosity and fascination with regard to how the human body functioned, in addition to wanting to provide compassionate care for others, helped solidify my decision.

How I move medicine: First, by providing mentorship to students who want to pursue a career in health care. Second, by being an advocate for my patients through participation in organized medicine and helping shape policy that will impact how we practice medicine. I also participate in events in my community to help destigmatize mental illness. Finally, I help develop initiatives to achieve health equity.

Advice I’d give to underrepresented minorities interested in becoming physicians: Pursue your dream and find a mentor who will embolden you to soar to new heights. Some people (aka “haters”) will try to discourage you from reaching your full potential. Never give up!

Aspect of my work that means the most: I love to teach and inspire the future leaders of tomorrow.  Furthermore, my passion to serve and implement a holistic approach to treatment for my patients gives me great joy.

Learn more about AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.

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Medical student Hank M. Spellman
Oct 11, 2018
AMA member and medical student Hank M. Spellman is already reaching patients through a nonprofit that raises awareness about public health issues.