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.