The Student Association of the ACOFP has partnered with Resident Council on a new “Resident Council Spotlight Series” of personal interviews and articles. We are excited about the insights and perspectives our residents provide students in planning for residency and engaging in volunteer opportunities within ACOFP.

For our next article in the series, students spoke with DeAundre A. Dyer, DO, outgoing ACOFP Resident Governor, to learn more about his decision to pursue family medicine, what family means to him and what he likes most about ACOFP.

Meet DeAundre A. Dyer, DO

Family Medicine Resident, PGY-3
CLEVELAND CLINIC FAMILY MEDICINE
CLEVELAND, OHIO
ACOFP Resident GOVERNOR

What does family mean to you?

I immediately associate the word family with love. I think a family is not only working towards a common goal, but they are also doing so with a collective sense of altruism. There is an inherent sense of sacrifice within the word. Just as love is a verb, family is also a verb. Family evokes a sense that we all have a duty to care for one another as we pursue our individual actualization.

Why did you choose this residency program?

As a student, I had the opportunity to rotate. I not only saw evidence-based medicine but also humility and humanity. I felt that I would grow—both academically and emotionally—in this program. They were discussing how their background may impact service delivery, what patients are falling through the cracks and the idea of resident wellness before it was a national conversation. I felt they were asking the right questions and were ready to do the work that comes after self-evaluation. After taking inventory of the hard and soft skills I planned to possess following residency, I was confident that this residency had to be my first choice.

What is a typical day like in your life as a resident?

I am currently in my “Senior on Service” month, billed as the “attending with training wheels” month, where I lead the inpatient service. I am also responsible for balancing clinic duties twice a week. In addition, I am also responsible for our continuity OB/GYN triage patients, which means if the physician responsible for delivering can not make it in time, I may be responsible for delivery.

I am also responsible for seeing patients of our residency in the ED and determining if they can continue management as an outpatient. I find it requires the most medical acumen, as it requires me to convince the patient, litigation adverse emergency physician and value-based family doctor of a plan that satisfies all parties. Twice a week, I see patients from my personal panel, as well as any hospital follow-up visits from the past two weeks.

In four weeks, I may be doing something entirely different and that is the beauty of family medicine. I am never stuck in a monotonous day, unless I have chosen a niche.

Why did you choose family medicine?

I felt family medicine has a level of responsibility that is greater than any other specialty. There is a certain vulnerability with being three feet away from a patient and having them divulge details that they may not have told their closest relative. You may treat everyone in their family. You may be responsible for their office, hospital and nursing home care. You have to allow yourself to exist in spaces where physicians are typically uncomfortable.

The world is now recognizing issues like housing insecurity, hunger, abuse or psychiatric illness are first laid bare in the presence of the family physician. In order for that person to continue allowing you to care for their loved ones, you have to show you are willing to approach these issues with courage and compassion. This is expected of a good family doctor, and I saw this as medicine’s ultimate challenge.

What do you like most about ACOFP?

I like the feeling of inclusivity. I like that this organization has enough history to have traditions, but that it is not too steeped in tradition to adapt. I like that as a student and as a resident, I have always been able to reach out to any member with an email and receive a warm response. I like the knowledge experienced colleagues are willing to impart. I like that they are also willing to approach with a listening ear. I like that this organization embodies what I expected from the osteopathic profession.

What is your one piece of advice to students?

After residency, do not disappear into the hospital. Your voice and advocacy are needed for the rest of your career.

Read more about DeAundre A. Dyer, DO, outgoing ACOFP Resident Governor.

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