The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Addiction Medicine and Addressing COVID Skepticism with Dr. Cat Chamberlain

Dr. Catherine “Cat” Chamberlain discusses her journey to medicine, the best parts of being a primary care physician, and how she addresses COVID skepticism with her patients.

  • [01:33] Dr. Chamberlain’s Journey to Medicine
  • [05:43] Why Dr. Chamberlain Chose Family Medicine
  • [08:22] Addiction Medicine
  • [12:31] Being a Primary Care Physician During the Pandemic
  • [14:55] Addressing COVID Skepticism
  • [17:54] Practicing Work-life Balance
  • [21:34] Dr. Chamberlain’s Advice to Pre-meds and Medical Students

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Catherine “Cat” Chamberlain, MD. Dr. Chamberlain is a family physician and medical addiction specialist in Baltimore, MD. She is also the Medical Director at both the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital and at BD Health Services. A native to Texas, Dr. Chamberlain grew up in a town of 2000 people and for a long time did not consider becoming a doctor. In this episode, Erkeda talks to Dr. Chamberlain about her long scenic journey to medicine, the best parts of being a primary care physician, and how she addresses COVID skepticism with her patients.

The Journey to Medicine

For a long time, Dr. Chamberlain did not consider medical school an option. Dr. Chamberlain graduated with a degree in Psychology and Gender Studies during which she fostered an interest in Public Health. In an attempt to scratch that itch, Dr. Chamberlain joined the Peace Corps as a health educator and her work was focused on women’s health. She loved talking to women about their health and, feeling that she may be missing the medical component of her education, Dr. Chamberlain began to consider enrolling in med school.

The Journey to Family Medicine

During her primary care rotation, Dr. Chamberlain realized that she loved family medicine. Although her first thoughts on family medicine had been that it was too difficult, she quickly realized that she liked knowing “a little bit about a lot of things” and the “cradle-to-grave” approach to medicine.

Primary care allows Dr. Chamberlain to build sincere relationships with her patients. These relationships that foster honesty, trust, and mutual respect allow Dr. Chamberlain to offer better care to patients including those with substance abuse issues.

Being a Primary Care Physician During the Pandemic

In her work as a medical director at the BCC Field Hospital, Dr. Chamberlain has used all of the skills she has learned in practice in primary care.

The pandemic has made all Americans depend on the healthcare system much more than we are used to. Patients have become more reliant on primary care doctors for their advice and opinions to help them sort through the barrage of disinformation surrounding public health.

Dr. Chamberlain’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students

Dr. Chamberlain wants students to know that they do not have to take the quickest and most direct route to medical school. Take time before med school to gain life experience and chase some of your other dreams.

Once you are in medical school, don’t be afraid to ask questions or look “dumb”. The opportunity to learn from professors and preceptors in the moment is one will you miss when you practice.

Make time for other things and enjoy the journey.

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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