Dr. Kathy (Case) Young has been chosen the Alaska Academy of Family Physician Family Doctor of the Year. In addition to providing excellent patient care for under-served populations, Dr. Young is a tireless advocate for Family Medicine – both as a leader in the community representing Family Medicine physicians, as well as an inspiration to medical students as faculty at the Alaska WWAMI Medical School.
She completed medical school at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and then completed an internship in Meath and Adeline Hospitals in Dublin. She went on to complete her family medicine residency at UND Family Practice Center in Grand Forks, ND.
Dr. Young has been in Alaska for over 20 years. During that time, she practiced full spectrum family medicine in Anchorage, and then worked at the Alaska Regional Senior Health Clinic for 6 years. Currently she practices at the FQHC MatSu Health Services. As is evidenced by her recent places of work, she is driven to provide care to underserved populations in Alaska. Dr. Young provides excellent care for these patients. As a local Emergency Department physician stated, “she is a fantastic clinician and had the most complicated patients in her geriatric clinic who all loved her. She was tireless in advocating for them and despite their complexities they hardly ever showed up in the ED. When they did, you knew they were sick.”
She represents Family Medicine in the local community, having held several positions at Alaska Regional Hospital over the years including Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, Vice President then President of the Medical Staff, By-laws Committee member, and has been on the Credentialing Committee for over 10 years. She is currently on the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee at Providence and is involved in the Alaska State Medical Association.
Dr. Young creates a professional learning environment for the future physicians of Alaska. She inspires future Family Physicians and those opting for other specialties to embrace the both the academic and humanistic sides of medicine. She does this via her strong leadership, and involvement in almost all areas of the first 2-years that students now spend in Alaska. She leads the Foundations of Clinical Medicine course, a 6-8 hour weekly class, where students learn clinical medicine and exam skills. This entails coordinating other clinicians to teach, being responsible for the curricular content, setting up complex simulation lab experiences for the students, and organizing every-other week sessions at local hospitals where students interview and examine patients in the in-patient setting. A quote from one of her students speaks to her abilities in this role, “Dr. Young is articulate, warm and invested in almost everyone that I have seen her interact with. She provides lessons in not only the art and craft of medicine but also in connecting with others and communication.” She also coordinates the student’s Primary Care Practicum, and recruits ~40 primary care physicians from the Anchorage area to volunteer one day every other week to have a student with them in clinic.
She is also a College Mentor, and has been for the past 3 years. College Mentors follow a group of 5 students per class through their 4 years of medical school. Think of the most ideal mentor, and that’s Dr. Young. She hosts dinners, checks up on students when she hasn’t heard from them for a while, reaches out if they are struggling academically or personally, helps them navigate choice of specialty and residency applications, and is a support through it all. Dr. Young truly cares about her students. A quote from one of her mentees is: “A mentor is an ally, teacher and a role model. Dr. Young models many of the behaviors that I believe form the core of medicine: compassion, professionalism, stewardship and integrity. I absolutely value her input and have developed a deep respect for her. I am fortunate to have her as a mentor and a resource in my medical education!”
In addition to the clinical teaching realm, Dr. Young teaches Basic Science topics in the classroom. She is willing and eager to help where needed, and becomes an instant expert on topics traditionally outside of the Family Medicine realm of comfort – embryology, cranial nerve anatomy, and cerebral palsy are a few that come to mind. She is also an engaging lecturer on topics like child development, anemia, acute coronary syndrome, and more.
Dr. Young credits a part of her success to her husband Rick Young who she says is an incredibly patient man! Congratulations Kathy Young, MD, Alaska Academy of Family Physicians FDOY!
If you would like to submit a colleague for FDOY nominations for next year should be submitted to the Alaska Academy of Family Physicians. firstname.lastname@example.org