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ACP offers a number of resources to help members make sense of the MOC requirements and earn points.
Understanding MOC Requirements
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April 11-13, 2019
Internal Medicine Meeting 2019
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A Multicultural Upbringing
Dr. Douglas Paauw laughs when he recalls his first day of
kindergarten in the United States, after living in Indonesia until
he was five. His family initially worried that he would not speak
English to the other students. "Since Indonesian was the first
language that I learned, my parents had to keep reminding me to
speak English in school." His father was a developmental economist
and worked with government planning associations, which allowed
their family to live in a variety of interesting locales, including
Indonesia, the Philippines and the Washington D.C. area. His family
eventually settled in Michigan when his father took the position of
Chairman of the Economics Department at Wayne State University in
Although it has been several years since Dr. Paauw has spoken
Indonesian, he still considers his international upbringing to be
an invaluable experience. "I can't be thankful enough for the
opportunity that I have had to live in other cultures; I think it
had a huge impact on my becoming a doctor, and has taught me
important life lessons that have helped me in my career. So many of
my patients are from other cultures and when you have lived in
other parts of the world, there is a connection that helps you
understand what it is like when you are living in a different
culture and in need of medical care."
Dr. Paauw attended the Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota
as an undergraduate and originally wanted to major in limnology,
the study of fresh water lakes. While completing an internship in
college, he was shocked to learn how little human contact there was
in the field of limnology. "I realized that I loved being connected
to people and doing things to help people." This drew him to
medicine, and he feels that his choice to attend medical school was
the best decision that he has ever made. "From the minute I walked
into medical school, I knew that I was in the right place for
He continued on at the University of Michigan for medical school
and while in his third year, he decided to pursue a career in
internal medicine. "I found that the people that I admired most in
medical school were the internists." He loved the complexity of
internal medicine, and in his heart, wanted to focus on treating
patients in an outpatient setting. "I wanted to take care of the
patient as a whole, to be their primary doctor. I was fascinated by
the diagnostic aspect of internal medicine but what was most
important for me was the long-term relationships with the
A lifelong teacher
His current position on the faculty and administration at the
University of Washington Medical Center allows Dr. Paauw to combine
his love for primary care with his love of educating medical
students. Teaching has always been a part of Dr. Paauw's life; both
of his parents were teachers and passed their love of teaching onto
him. Having been a student teacher in college and in graduate
school, Dr. Paauw knew when he entered medical school that whatever
career path he chose in medicine, it had to involve teaching, and
he feels lucky to have landed his "dream job" right out of
residency that afforded him both of his passions.
In his role as Clerkship Director at University of Washington
Medical Center, which provides medical education for Washington,
Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Wyoming, Dr. Paauw oversees student
teaching sites for the five state area and is responsible for
ensuring that students in each state are receiving quality
education and instruction. "Variety is the best part of the job.
There are days when I am seeing patients in the clinic all day and
then there are days when I am traveling to a student teaching site
in Alaska. Having that variety in my job is an amazing gift."
In addition to overseeing the student teaching process, Dr.
Paauw lectures to third year students each week and enjoys
interacting so closely with the student body. "I love the chance to
be involved with students and to be able to teach them and to see
them develop." He serves as the career advisor for students going
into internal medicine, helping the students choose residency
programs and prepare for interviews. Dr. Pauuw tells his students
to "find what you love doing and fight tooth and nail to do it.
Find the things that matter to you and try to keep doing them."
Another fulfilling aspect of Dr. Paauw's career in internal
medicine is his involvement with ACP. He joined ACP when he was
Chief Resident at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and quickly
became involved with his local chapter. He previously served as the
Governor of the Washington Chapter and has been involved with the
Education Committee, ACP's annual Internal Medicine meeting, and
ACP Summer Session. He has been Director of the ACP's Seattle
Internal Medicine Board Review course for 20 years.
"I knew when I was a resident that ACP was an organization that
I wanted to put the majority of my time and energy into because
they stand for what I believe in. The organization has always
represented what I feel is most important in medicine: education,
access to health care, and providing the highest quality of health
care to patients."
In addition to his participation with ACP, Dr. Paauw enjoys
spending time with his wife of thirty years and their daughter
Carly. The three enjoy traveling internationally and learning about
November 2011 Issue of IMpact
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