ACP is delighted to introduce our incoming ACP President, Dr. Jacqueline Winfield Fincher, and our incoming Chair of the Board of Regents, Dr. Heather E. Gantzer. Read on to learn about who they are, where they’re from, their careers and their hobbies.
Incoming ACP President
Jacqueline Winfield Fincher, MD, MACP
Partner, Center for Primary Care, McDuffie Medical, Thomson, GA
— MEDICAL SCHOOL —
Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA
— RESIDENCE —
1. I was born and raised in… born in Athens, GA, while my dad was finishing pre-med coursework at the University of Georgia. Six months later we moved to Atlanta where my dad started medical school at Emory University and my mom started her Master’s degree in library science. I grew up in Atlanta through the 1960s and 70s where the civil rights movement was very much front and center.
2. As a child I was… precocious, good in school, athletic, and always involved in church and choir. My younger sister and brother would say I was ‘bossy,’ but I would say I was just developing my leadership skills early on.
3. I decided to be a doctor… when I was 7 years old. My best friend and I saw our choices as teacher, nurse, or stewardess. Since my dad was a doctor, I thought it would be great to be daddy’s nurse. Upon telling my mother of my great career aspirations, she just asked, “Why don’t you be a doctor?” Me: “Nah, I want to work with Daddy and be his nurse.” Mom: “Well you could still work with him and be his partner as a physician.” Me: “Hmmm, nah. I want that nurse’s uniform in the Sears catalog Wish Book with the navy cape and the nurse’s cap for Christmas.” Mom: “Well look at it this way, the doctors get to give all the orders and the nurses have to take all the orders.” Being the oldest and bossiest of three children, that was the decision point. Me:” Oh, now I see. You’re right. I want to be a doctor.” And so it began.
4. The person(s) who influenced me the most were… my mother and father. I was fascinated at what my dad did as a physician especially in the hospital, seeing patients and delivering babies. I loved going with him to his office and especially to the hospital to make rounds on the weekends. My mom was the one who really encouraged and supported me through my pre-med and medical school education, even when I was ready to quit. Some of the best advice she ever gave me was, “Jacqueline, you don’t have to practice medicine a day in your life, but your MD will be the ticket to the rest of your life.” She was so right.
5. I chose internal medicine because… I like working with adult patients. My favorite rotations as a junior medical student were psychiatry, neurology, and a community internal medicine rotation. With IM I could do as much psych and neuro as I wanted, but oh so much more.
6. What I find most rewarding about my career is… having a broad knowledge of adult medicine and being able to help most anyone, wherever I am. I also am so blessed to be able to help many family members navigate the extremely complex health care maze to get the right health care when and where they need it.
7. I joined ACP because… I am an internal medicine physician. It is my professional organization. ACP has been critical to every aspect of my career and practice. I can’t imagine not being a member.
8. An award or achievement I am proud of is… surviving Stage IIIA breast cancer at age 32, with a 10 percent chance of 10-year survival. With an incredibly supportive husband, holistic approach to healing, state of the art medicine, lots of prayer, and a miracle from God, I have watched my then 11-month-old daughter become a young woman and now a physician.
9. My advice to medical students is… remember medicine is a calling, not just a job. If you were admitted to medical school, you are smart enough to be there.
10. I like people who… work hard and are willing to help get the job done.
11. My family includes… my wonderful husband and partner in life and in medical practice, James Lemley, MD, MBA, FAAFP, a family physician, and my incredible daughter, Laura Lemley, MD, a brand new pediatrician.
12. My interests/hobbies are… travel, good food and wine, politics, live music, and dancing.
13. If I had the time, I would like to learn… how to play the piano again, proficiently.
14. I enjoy listening to… the sound of my daughter’s laugh, intelligent people talk, 70s/80s music.
15. I enjoy watching… live music, theater, SEC football, ACC basketball.
16. My idea of a great vacation is… going to a new destination, learning about the history and culture, enjoying new foods and wine, then ending with time for just rest and relaxation preferably by a beach with umbrella drinks.
17. Something others may not know about me is… I am a breast cancer survivor; I was the President of the Future Homemakers of America in high school; I do not have a high school degree and went to college at age 16. I was the President of the American Heart Association, Georgia Affiliate, and was on the national board of the AHA.
18. If I could be anything other than a physician I would… strongly consider running for office.
19. A person I greatly admire is/was… my grandmother Lucile Totty Homer, raised on a farm in rural Alabama, who was 13th of 15 children, and the only one with a four-year college degree. She played basketball for Auburn for two years in the 1920s, then transferred to Peabody College of Education (now part of Vanderbilt) where she graduated. She raised my Mom, mostly as a single mother during the Depression, teaching, working in a cotton mill, selling World Book encyclopedias, becoming a journalist, and taking on community and state leadership with the International Pilot Club. She was a great woman of faith, always evolving with the times and doing whatever she could to educate and better herself. She was always young at heart and loved to dance.
Incoming Chair, Board of Regents
Heather E. Gantzer, MD, FACP
Internist, Park Nicollet Clinic, Methodist Hospital, St. Louis Park, MN
— MEDICAL SCHOOL —
Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO
— RESIDENCE —
1. I was born… in Pennsylvania and raised in Lewisburg, PA, until age 6, when we moved to Carbondale, IL, as my father became a professor of chemical engineering at Southern Illinois University.
2. As a child I was… a fan of Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes–solving a mystery was absolutely what I was interested in.
3. I decided to be a doctor… because I wanted to do work that had meaning, and I did not want to be bored. I considered archeology but was concerned about the role of luck in that profession–what if I did not stumble across King Tut’s tomb? In medicine if you keep your ears, mind, and heart open, and you work hard, you are never bored.
4. The person who influenced me most… was the physician who interviewed me for residency, Dr. Conrad Iber, pulmonologist, sleep medicine, and critical care at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. I thought I had met Sherlock Holmes in person.
5. I chose internal medicine because… of the diversity. When on a cardiology rotation I thought I would be a cardiologist; when on an oncology rotation I thought I would be an oncologist; but my general internal medicine faculty were so brilliant in their differential diagnoses and comprehensive approaches to helping their patients, and the diversity of clinical issues was so broad, that I was drawn to general internal medicine.
6. What I find most rewarding about my career is… solving a puzzle. A patient comes to me for help with a complex situation, symptoms, physical signs, impacts of social determinants of health, strengths and challenges, and I need to use expertise, compassion, and judgment to sort it out and assist them. I see them both in my primary clinic of more than 30 years, and my nocturnist nighttime hospitalist position, so these issues are encountered in both longitudinal and acute situations.
7. I joined ACP because… Dr. Tanya Repka, the first female ACP governor in Minnesota, began a dynamic Women’s Breakfast at our annual Minnesota chapter meeting, and the strength and diversity of the women physicians attending each year fascinated me.
8. An award or achievement I am proud of is… the night that an RN in the hospital on the cardiac telemetry floor stopped me and said “Oh Dr. Gantzer, you’re on call tonight, great. We all feel so safe when you are here.” His words have encouraged me since then.
9. My advice to medical students is… to take care of yourself, be open to learning, and do not cave in to the push to prematurely decide on a particular specialty.
10. I like people who… are frank, and who care.
11. My family includes… my husband, a PhD and environmental engineer; my eldest daughter, a biomedical engineer who designs cardiac ablation catheters; my middle daughter, fluent in Spanish, who is a legal office assistant in an immigration law firm; and my youngest daughter, an English major who is now a quality systems specialist in a biomedical engineering firm. My mother lives in southern Illinois and continues to be a very active volunteer in the community.
12. My interest/hobbies are… internal medicine–I thrive on clinical problems to solve, and meeting with other internists.
13. If I had the time, I would like to learn… point of care ultrasound. Each time I attend a workshop I am fascinated by the reality of the human anatomy, and what the ultrasound can clarify.
14. I enjoy listening to… public radio. Every time I visit ACP headquarters in Philadelphia, I keep hoping I will see Terry Gross (as Philadelphia NPR, WHYY, is next door.)
15. I enjoy watching… hard to answer this one, I can go months at a time without watching anything. But I have been a Downton Abbey fan.
16. My idea of a great vacation is… an area with fascinating history. Hence always a treat to visit Philadelphia.
17. Something others may not know about me is… I used to be a piano accompanist in high school, and then on the organ at our small church in Wisconsin near our cabin.
18. If I could be anything other than a physician I would be… an archeologist. But again, what if I just did not stumble across a crucial finding? In medicine you are guaranteed extraordinary findings, if you only keep your eyes, mind and heart open.
19. A person I greatly admire is… Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Surgeon General of the United States, extraordinarily thoughtful.
Back to the May 2020 issue of ACP IMpact
More I.M. Internal Medicine Profiles