First-Year Student Looks to Father for Medical Inspiration

Monday, October 1, 2012

UA College of Medicine – Tucson first-year student, Jeff Brown, says he learned the spirit of medicine through his father, Mark Brown, MD. Now in the same building, both are working to better themselves as patient caretakers.

“My dad always is willing to go into the hospital or talk on the phone whenever a patient is in need, or if a colleague needs advice. That’s the essence of medicine – putting your patients before yourself,” says Jeff.

Dr. Brown earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, then completed his pediatric training at the University of Oklahoma/Oklahoma Children’s Memorial Hospital in 1987. He also graduated from the UA Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship Program in 1990.

Since 1995, Dr. Brown has been a faculty member in the Pediatric Pulmonary Section at the College of Medicine – Tucson. His son, Jeff, on the other hand, is just beginning his medical education.

The 22-year-old said he was thrilled to learn about his acceptance to the College of Medicine – Tucson.

“I felt incredibly relieved and excited. Knowing that I was accepted in Tucson with all that the city has to offer, including my family and friends as a support system, made the acceptance letter that much better,” he says.

The recent University of Southern California graduate recalls visiting his dad’s office at The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus since he was five years old.

“Growing up it always was fun to go into his office and play with all the photos and trinkets he had on his desk. I never thought I would one day become a doctor in the very same building,” he says. “His office actually is on the same floor and right next to the College of Medicine. So I guess you could say that now we’re neighbors.”

Although he says he never pressured Jeff to follow in his footsteps, Dr. Brown watched his son don his first white coat at the annual White Coat Ceremony in early August.

“This was my first White Coat Ceremony. There was tremendous pride that Jeff had taken on this sacred calling, knowing what it entailed,” he says. “There was excitement for him having achieved his goal of starting medical school, and for the start of his journey to becoming a healer. And there was a father’s love, hoping that he finds whatever career path he chooses to be as rewarding and fulfilling as I have found mine.”

While Dr. Brown conducts research about early immune development as it relates to asthma and allergic disease, he said he thinks his son will pursue another area of medicine.

“At present, his interests within medicine are very different than my career path, strengthening my confidence that he is seeking his own. This being a time of tremendous and unpredictable change in medicine leads to some anxiety for his future, but it is clear that he is entering the field for what I would consider all the right reasons, reasons that will insure that he realizes satisfaction and personal fulfillment from his career regardless of the changes to come,” says Dr. Brown.

Although currently Jeff isn’t sure about a particular medical specialization, he is positive he chose to pursue the right profession.

“I want to become a physician because of the ability to positively impact the lives of others and empower them to enjoy their lives to the fullest. As a doctor, you have the knowledge and skills that are necessary to make a sick baby healthy or to make an injured patient walk again,” he says. “There aren’t many other professions that are so rewarding.”