AA Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

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“Always Best care is the best! Their caregiver is very nice with respective attitude. They are all expert and knows their job very well in all ages. I never regret that their service to take care of my grandmother. They are trustworthy, respectful, honest and passionate to their work. I highly recommend them on their work.”

Facundo K.

“I met with Elaine Gill as we needed a secure place for my Dad. She was very knowledgeable and professional. Fortunately, the second location she showed us was a good fit (Dakota Paradise). I heartily recommend Always Best Care if you want help finding a loved one the proper care.”

Keith S.

“I cannot really find the words to say how wonderful the staff is at Always Best Care of Upper Chesapeake: Highly competent, Comforting, caring, extremely attentive, endlessly patient and reassuring. Elaine Gill has done an amazing job at ensuring that the staff she has are just as committed to ensuring the highest quality of life for every client, as Elaine! You are on the top of my list for any further care services that my family members may need going forward.”

Alan L.

“I used Always Best Care to care for my parents who happen to live in another state. I met with Elaine (the owner) to discuss my options and determine the best caregiver service to meet my parents needs. She was a great help; addressed all my questions and concerns and gave me peace of mind that my parents were in good hands. Their caregiver is wonderful and very competent. I don't have to worry about them or become a detective to find out what is going on with them in Maryland. Although my parents were a little skeptical at first, Elaine and her staff have put their mind at ease and made them feel very comfortable about the entire experience. They both feel much safer now and happier that they are able to stay in the home that they love. I am comforted in knowing that my parents are receiving quality care and they are in the capable hands of Elaine and her staff at Always Best Care. Words can not express my sincere gratitude for the awesome care provided to my parents.”

Monica C.
 In-Home Care Fork, MD

How does In-home Senior Care in Fork, MD work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

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 Senior Care Fork, MD

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Fork, MD, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Fork, MD gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Aid and Attendance benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Fork, MD

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Fork,MD understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Fork, MD

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Fork, MD

Recommended Reading: Our Favorite Plant-Based Books of 2022

As 2022 comes to a close, we’re looking back at our favorite book releases in the plant-based space of the past year. Whether you’re seeking guidance on going plant-based or just want to expand your recipe repertoire, these highly rated books are well worth digging into.Editor’s note: FOK may collect a small share of sales from some of the links on this page, though it doesn’t influence our picks.MAGAZINES SHIP FREE FOR BLACK FRIDAY!STOCK UP ON YOUR FAVORITE ISSUES OR G...

As 2022 comes to a close, we’re looking back at our favorite book releases in the plant-based space of the past year. Whether you’re seeking guidance on going plant-based or just want to expand your recipe repertoire, these highly rated books are well worth digging into.

Editor’s note: FOK may collect a small share of sales from some of the links on this page, though it doesn’t influence our picks.



*U.S. orders only


The Fiber Fueled Cookbook by Will Bulsiewicz, MD, MSCI

The latest release from Dr. Will Bulsiewicz—aka Dr. B, aka the “Gut Whisperer”—The Fiber Fueled Cookbook includes more than 100 vegan recipes developed by plant-based dietitian Alex Caspero, RD. Bulsiewicz notes that while some of the recipes call for a little oil, it can easily be omitted, and in some recipes, alternate suggestions (such as veggie broth) are given. More than just a cookbook, Bulsiewicz’s sophomore release leverages the most up-to-date science to illuminate the inner workings of gut microbiota and offers a multistep plan for healing your gut by eliminating harmful foods, identifying triggers, and making other lifestyle changes. Find it on Amazon and Bookshop.

Plant-Based India: Nourishing Recipes Rooted in Tradition by Sheil Shukla, DO

This was a busy year for Dr. Sheil Shukla. In July, less than a month after beginning his practice as a physician, he released his debut cookbook. In Plant-Based India, Shukla draws inspiration from his Gujarati roots and grandmother’s cooking to serve up vegan versions of traditional favorites, such as biry?ni and s?g. Some recipes contain oil but are easily adapted for a whole-food, plant-based diet. “Pretty much every recipe can be made without salt, sugar, or oil,” says Shukla, who is a passionate proponent of what he terms “culinary medicine.” In addition to being a recipe developer and physician, Shukla is a photographer, and that’s evident in the stunning photography found throughout the book. Find it on Amazon and Bookshop.

Be A Plant-Based Woman Warrior by Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn, RN

Ann Esselstyn has been coming up with healthy plant-based (WFPB) meals that whole families can enjoy for more than 30 years, ever since her husband, Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., MD, began to uncover the alarming links between the standard American diet and various chronic diseases. She passed that passion on to her daughter, Jane Esselstyn, a nurse, health educator, and cookbook author, and the two of them have authored several cookbooks together. Their latest, subtitled “Live Fierce, Stay Bold, Eat Delicious,” delivers 125 WFPB recipes, essential health information, first-person testimonials from women who have gone plant-based, and vibrant photography, to boot. With their signature zest, the mother-daughter duo offer their best advice for creating new food traditions—ones that will support the health of your family for generations to come. Find it on Amazon and Bookshop.

The Blue Zones American Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100 by Dan Buettner

Dan Buettner has made it his mission to draw lessons on longevity from the world’s blue zones—regions with unusually high concentrations of healthy centenarians—and to help others put that knowledge into practice. In his latest release, The Blue Zones American Kitchen, Buettner sticks close to home, studying cultures that have shaped America’s healthiest cuisines, including indigenous, African-American, and Latin-American traditions. A National Geographic Fellow, Buettner has a knack for sensory description that makes you feel as though you’re riding shotgun, seeing the landscapes, meeting the people, and tasting all the delicious food. Fortunately, you can actually do that last part, thanks to the 100 recipes included in the book. While some contain oil, they can be adapted for oil-free plant-based eaters. Find it on Amazon and Bookshop.

Eating Plant-Based: Scientific Answers to Your Nutrition Questions by Shireen Kassam MBBS, FRCPath, PhD, DipIBLM, and Zahra Kassam MBBS, FRCPC, MSc, DipABLM

Are humans designed to eat meat and dairy? Can going plant-based reverse kidney disease? Does eating beans make IBS symptoms worse? These are just a handful of the hundreds of questions that sisters and co-authors Drs. Shireen and Zahra Kassam tackle in Eating Plant-Based. The Kassam sisters, who also released a textbook on plant-based nutrition for health care professionals this year, cover a broad spectrum of topics with authority but in an accessible way. If you know someone who’s plant-curious but apprehensive about making the switch, or if you want to be better armed to answer questions from skeptical relatives at the dinner table, pick this one up. Find it on Amazon.

For Fork’s Sake: A Quick Guide to Healing Yourself and the Planet Through a Plant-Based Diet by Rachael J. Brown

After being diagnosed with high cholesterol in her late 20s, Rachael J. Brown adopted a whole-food, plant-based diet and saw her cholesterol drop 50 points in just 17 days. The experience inspired her not only to eat WFPB for life but also to help as many families as possible do the same. This highly readable book outlines a 10-day plan to transition your family from a standard American diet to WFPB, guiding you through important steps such as cleaning out your pantry and fridge. Brown also addresses frequently asked questions and offers budget-friendly recipes that kids and adults alike will enjoy. Find it on Amazon and Bookshop.

Plant You: 140+ Ridiculously Easy, Amazingly Delicious Plant-Based Oil-Free Recipes by Carleigh Bodrug

Carleigh Bodrug’s creative, accessible approach to plant-based cooking has earned her millions of followers on social media. Her debut cookbook packs in nearly 150 hard-to-resist plant-based, oil-free recipes, including Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies and Best Ever Cauli Wings. Bodrug uses short, simple ingredient lists and an infographic-style format in which ingredients are broken out visually. The full-color cookbook also features educational content on the perks of going plant-based, the difference between a plant-based and vegan diet, and tips for “scrappy cooking”—finding creative ways to use up scraps and reduce food waste. Find it on Amazon and Bookshop.

To learn more about a whole-food, plant-based diet, visit our Plant-Based Primer. For meal-planning support, check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path.

North Fork Surgical Center aims to provide ‘top-level care at an equitable price’

In a day when medical care is consolidating and smaller practices are being eaten up by larger groups, two doctors from Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital are bucking the trend.Dr. Dhiren Mehta, a gastroenterologist, and Dr. Frank Adipietro, a pain specialist, have opened the North Fork Surgical Center in Southold to offer outpatient procedures in their practice areas.It has been a four-year effort, culminating in a Valentine’s Day notice that they’d received final approval from the New York State health depar...

In a day when medical care is consolidating and smaller practices are being eaten up by larger groups, two doctors from Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital are bucking the trend.

Dr. Dhiren Mehta, a gastroenterologist, and Dr. Frank Adipietro, a pain specialist, have opened the North Fork Surgical Center in Southold to offer outpatient procedures in their practice areas.

It has been a four-year effort, culminating in a Valentine’s Day notice that they’d received final approval from the New York State health department to function at offices on Boisseau Avenue.

“It was easier getting a medical degree,” Dr. Adipietro said, noting hurdles the partners had to jump to make their plan a reality.

There were multiple applications that had to be filed, plus numerous hearings and inspections. They needed permits from Southold Town, Suffolk County and New York State.

Asked why they put themselves through such a bureaucratic ordeal, the doctors said that because some insurance companies are refusing payments for some procedures performed within hospitals or cutting back on reimbursements and hitting patients with high co-pays, they were largely forced to start the independent practice.

“We want to provide top-level care at an equitable price” to people on the East End, Dr. Mehta said.

They can offer that level of medicine with co-pays that will be less than half of what patients have been assessed by their insurance companies, Dr. Adipietro said.

Both practitioners accept a wide range of insurance, including Medicaid, so no patient has to be refused treatment.

At the same time, in rare cases where complications could be expected or a patient prefers treatment in a hospital setting, they can still perform procedures at the Greenport hospital, they said.

The idea started with Dr. Mehta, who brought his proposal to Dr. Adipietro. The pain specialist had been approached by other doctors with similar concepts, but none were as well thought out as Dr. Mehta’s, he said. Initially, they had planned to use a consulting group to guide them in developing the surgical center, but ultimately managed the process themselves.

It started with identifying a site that they now see as perfect, but originally was a vacant, aging building just north of the Long Island Rail Road tracks. On the first walk-through they realized it was an old structure. “This was a lot of work,” Dr. Adipietro said as he showed off the sparkling new facility, which offers amenities few developers might have even proposed.

At the entryway, for example, are vents that provide warm air, but their installation ensures that the heat doesn’t overwhelm the waiting room since the entire building is climate controlled.

For that and many other features, Dr. Adipietro credits Patricia McGrath at Coastal Home, who was involved in every aspect of creating a working space that feels more like a home than a hospital.

“I wanted patients to feel they are in someone’s living room, not a hospital,” Dr. Adipietro said.

A quiet waiting room offers calming music, but no television — and that, too, is purposeful. In the world of news today, Dr. Mehta said, he didn’t want patients waiting for procedures to be disturbed by, or even arguing about, what they might see on TV.

The reception desk has two levels, the lower one positioned to accommodate a person who might enter in a wheelchair. There’s also a private space to interview patients.

The obvious need for a generator to provide back-up power in stormy weather when electrical connections could be lost was no easy step and just one of many construction delays.

The generator couldn’t be rolled in to where it had to be located, but had to be hydraulically lifted over the building.

When patients arrive for a procedure, they are shown to a private room where they can change and given a locker with a key for their belongings. The patient keeps the key throughout the procedure.

The pre-and post-op areas are large and bright and each patient’s vital signs are monitored. Each area has features including chairs that convert to stretchers for many of the procedures — such as the colonoscopies and endoscopies Dr. Mehta performs— to avoid having to move patients from beds to stretchers to operating tables. But there’s also one stretcher specially designed for patients with other problems who may require X-rays. The design enables the patient to be X-rayed through the stretcher.

For procedures where anesthesiology is needed, a qualified physician will be available. All equipment is the state-of-the-art, the doctors said.

“If I’m doing it, let’s do it right,” Dr. Mehta said. That not only includes a top-level endoscope and other machinery and instruments, but sterilizing equipment to protect against infections.

As for his operating room, Dr. Adipietro describes it as “set up perfectly.”

The two doctors expect to begin performing procedures at the surgical center by mid-March. In the meantime, as they complete a few odds and ends, they are seeing patients for intake appointments and scheduling procedures that can wait until they are fully operational.

Julie Lane has been a reporter for Times Review Media Group since 2000 and has covered Shelter Island since 2011. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and political science from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA from Long Island University.

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A female physician’s perspective: Knowing when to quit

Key TakeawaysAccording to a 2022 article from Harvard Business Review, female physicians are quitting en masse, creating a staffing crisis that is on course to only worsen in the years ahead.[1] Research shows that female physicians spend more time with patients, translating to better patient outcomes compared with the male physician population. Howeve...

Key Takeaways

According to a 2022 article from Harvard Business Review, female physicians are quitting en masse, creating a staffing crisis that is on course to only worsen in the years ahead.[1] Research shows that female physicians spend more time with patients, translating to better patient outcomes compared with the male physician population. However, when paired with greater responsibilities at home as well, female physicians experience significantly higher rates of burnout and depression.

This is no secret to those in the healthcare profession, and is a focus of many healthcare reform organizations looking to improve work-life balance for women, specifically. Regardless, sometimes it is in your best interest to focus on your current state of affairs, instead of waiting indefinitely for conditions to improve.

Yasmine S. Ali, MD, MSCI, a cardiologist with 30 years of experience in clinical medicine, shares why you should feel empowered to seriously consider a reprieve from your career in clinical medicine, despite it feeling like an insurmountable and irresponsible task.

We have always tried our best—and succeeded

We had to work so hard to get to where we are in our medical careers. That meant cultivating perseverance and persistence, with no small amount of discipline. It meant packing our schedules to overflowing to have the best chances of securing the best colleges, medical schools, training programs, and career opportunities.

"We learned to say yes to everything and anything that might further our careers."

— Yasmine S. Ali, MD, MSCI

So it’s understandable that many of us have trouble saying “no.” Even more difficult is knowing when to quit when we’re in the midst of a good opportunity or position. Because of this, I believe it’s likely we have at one time said “yes” to an opportunity that wasn’t right for us.

Related: The toughest choices I’ve had to make in my medical career

The dilemma of changing course

We may be scared to leave a position despite it being toxic or emotionally draining, because of the fear of the unknown. We may feel we don’t know what else to do, or feel we’ve already invested so much time and effort that we worry that quitting would be an unforgivable waste.

But move on we must, and knowing when and how to do so requires specific skills crucial for both life and career—skills that can also open up untold opportunities and possibilities.

Know thyself

Knowing when something is no longer right for you really requires knowing yourself; not someone else’s image or vision of you, but your own desires and needs to help you feel happiness in your personal and professional life.

Maybe you’re on too many committees or have long commutes to satellite clinics. You’re finding it exhausting, while others—maybe your male colleagues—seem to be okay with it, maybe even expect it, so why shouldn’t you?

Maybe you have agreed to speak at too many conferences, and what you’d really like to do is spend time with family on some Saturday mornings, rather than flying across the country to give yet one more lecture.

Or maybe it’s something huge, like realizing that you don’t like seeing patients after all.

It can take a long time to allow yourself to come to the conclusion that clinical medicine isn’t right for you. In my experience, one can stay in clinical medicine far too long, trying valiantly to make it work while becoming more and more miserable the whole time. You ask yourself, “Didn’t I always want to be a doctor? Isn’t that why I went to medical school, studied so hard, and endured all this training?”

You may even ask yourself if there is something wrong with you. The fact is, there is nothing wrong with you. What is wrong is the position you find yourself in.

Additional advice from another female physician

Knowing when to quit means being honest with yourself. And if that honest self-examination leads you to the conclusion that you are not happy in clinical medicine, what’s next?

To help physicians navigate this very issue, Heather Fork, MD, physician career strategist and master certified coach, founded Doctor’s Crossing. She advises asking oneself a series of questions to pin down exactly what factors in clinical medicine are contributing to unhappiness. For instance, she recommends asking yourself the following questions:

Dr. Fork points out that it may be possible for the clinical situation to be improved by narrowing the scope of practice, for example, or by changing the practice setting or working fewer hours. She also says that it might be something else.

"It might just be that it’s time for a new challenge after a rewarding career of being a doctor in the traditional sense."

— Heather Fork, MD

Seek out a trusted confidante

Whenever you’re mulling over career-changing decisions, it can be very helpful to reach out to a trusted friend to talk through the whole issue and brainstorm ideas. As Dr. Fork tells her clients, “It is helpful to talk to someone who will listen to you without judgment or agenda.”

"In time, you will be able to hear clearly your inner voice, which knows without a doubt whether it is time to stay or go."

— Heather Fork, MD

Keep in mind that quitting doesn’t make you a quitter—certainly not at this stage in your life and career. It makes you an insightful, wise, and self-respecting woman in medicine.

What this means for you

To a female physician who is starting to feel that clinical medicine is no longer for them, the decision to leave can be difficult. To give it all up, after all the hard work it took to get there, may seem like that effort had been for naught. But taking the time to listen to yourself while carefully considering the aspects of clinical practice that may be causing the dissatisfaction, as well as confiding in a friend or mentor, could help in charting a new path.

Read Next: Why are there so few women in the highest-paying specialties?

Mark N. Bair, MD, RPh: Emergency doctor lifts his profession

The AMA “Members Move Medicine” series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine.On the move with: Mark N. Bair, MD, RPh, a clinical informaticist and emergency physician at CarePoint Health in American Fork, Utah.AMA member since: 1988.AMA Moving Med...

The AMA “Members Move Medicine” series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine.

On the move with: Mark N. Bair, MD, RPh, a clinical informaticist and emergency physician at CarePoint Health in American Fork, Utah.

AMA member since: 1988.

AMA Moving Medicine

See how AMA members are changing the culture and stigma associated with physician burnout in the latest issue of AMA Moving Medicine.

Read Now

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: As I was growing up, my mother was a nurse and my father was a pharmacist. I heard about the struggles and issues in medicine from neighbors, friends and my parents’ coworkers.

In my tenth-grade high school health class, the teacher brought in a deer heart for us to inspect and dissect. It was at that moment—as I was enthralled by the experience—that I decided I wanted to be a physician. I was fascinated by the miracle in front of me and I wanted to study medicine, anatomy and the wonder of the bodies we each have. This experience, coupled with a strong desire to help, serve and care for my community, fueled my drive to become a physician.

How I move medicine: By being willing to stand up and be heard. Willingness to participate is key to attaining positions and opportunities in your community to effect change. In my lifecycle as a physician to this point, I have had many opportunities to move medicine.

Locally, I find that many of my patients are interested in what is happening in medicine, so I teach them what I have learned. I serve in my community, hospital and state in various capacities where I have the privilege to share what we do as physicians, how our processes work and why it is important to listen and hear physicians when it comes to policies they are shaping.

And I have had the great opportunity to serve at the AMA level as a student, resident, young physician, and now as a seasoned physician. What we do matters as physicians. We are called upon to do and be more than providers of care. We are also seen as ambassadors of our profession, experts in our fields and leaders in our communities. Physicians move medicine at every level.

Career highlights:

Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: Love it, live it and lift it. Medicine is more than a job—it’s a calling for physicians. We work hard, invest a lot of time and, ultimately, commit ourselves to a lifetime of service. We need to love it.

We live it every day and by virtue of our training we are always on call for our patients, families, friends and neighbors. It is a commitment. And, lastly, I believe that we have a responsibility to lift up our profession at every opportunity. We are given a great privilege and responsibility by our communities. We should work with those around us to lift up the profession to new and greater heights.

How I give back to the community: As a physician, director and leader, advocating for patients and physicians is a constant job. At every level, I work to protect and serve our patients to ensure they receive the respect, concern and attention to care they deserve. Physicians are constantly challenged by outside forces that seek to change, direct and modify how we practice medicine.

Many times, it takes a leader to stand up, educate and redirect these administrative, legislative and governmental efforts to ensure physicians are respected and heard, in order to produce a positive effect on the environment and ecosystem of medicine.

I have been provided with leadership positions from which I can advocate in governor-appointed task forces, committees and nonprofit companies that are working on health care policy data and innovation. And I work with my state medical association to effect change in our state and nationally through the AMA.

Aspect of my work that means the most: Caring for those who need me and are grateful for what we can do to make them feel and be better. There is no greater joy than seeing the kind, thankful eyes of a comforted child, or a relieved mother or a patient saved from pain or death.

In addition, I have enjoyed incorporating my other skills in computers and leadership to help guide, direct and create better systems and policies. As physicians we are privileged to provide care from the womb to the tomb, and in sickness and health.

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My hope for the future of medicine: That we never lose the patient-physician relationship. The cornerstone of medicine is a patient communicating with—and working alongside—the physician to improve their health. We must embrace innovation and technology and balance that process with personal interactions.

I hope that the pendulum of health care reform will swing back to a center balance with reduced federal regulations, improved technology focused on care, and a respect for the years of training of my physician colleagues.

I hope that as new generations move through their lifecycle as physicians, they will enjoy the opportunities we have had in health care and create their own rewarding memories of the service they provide their patients.

Visit MembershipMovesMedicine.com to learn more about other AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.

From Farm to Fork: Our Food Supply Chain

"The United States needs resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains to ensure our economic prosperity and national security.” – Executive Order #14017 “The pandemic and recent supply chain disruptions have revealed the perils of a national food system that depends on capacity concentrated in a few geographic areas and requires many steps to get from farm to fork. In order to be more resilient, the food system of the future needs to be more distributed and local.” – the USDA response. ...

"The United States needs resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains to ensure our economic prosperity and national security.” – Executive Order #14017

“The pandemic and recent supply chain disruptions have revealed the perils of a national food system that depends on capacity concentrated in a few geographic areas and requires many steps to get from farm to fork. In order to be more resilient, the food system of the future needs to be more distributed and local.” – the USDA response.

Agricultural and food (agri-food) supply chains are critical infrastructure and “underpin political and economic stability,” – a “key part of national security.” A new study of those food chains in Nature Food looks at our national agri-food supply chains. More specifically, it considers choke points – single points of failure that jeopardize food on the shelves.

While some have focused on food production, growing crops, or raising cattle, are not easily moved from where they are already located. The researchers instead considered the chokepoints reflecting food processing, distribution, and transportation – facilities, and networks that might more easily be shifted or reproduced to enhance resilience.

The image depicts our agri-food supply chain networks. The map to the left describes the network based on our transportation hubs; the map to the right illustrates the network based on the communities they reside within. While the two views do not exactly map upon one another, it is apparent that the distribution chokepoints in our agri-food supply chain reside in Southern California, an area in Texas, Pennsylvania, Chicago, and the greater New York City area. Some of California’s and New York’s predominance is as “ports of entry” for imported foodstuffs. Much of COVID-induced scarcity came from disrupting Los Angeles – Long Beach harbor activities.

“Each agri-food commodity group has unique production, processing, and distribution requirements leading to differences in chokepoint location.”

Choke points can also be viewed traditionally based on the specific commodity. While cereals have usually come from our “breadbasket,” the Midwest, when accounting for distribution, our contemporary sources now include Texas and Idaho. And who among consumers would have anticipated that so much animal feed comes from Pennsylvania?

The bottom map is the aggregate processing and distribution of our food. Once again, it is centered in Southern California, Chicago, the greater New York area, along with Texas and Pennsylvania.

In many ways, our eggs are literally in, if not one, only a few baskets.

Fun fact – processed foods, our most stable food commodities, come from 3 distribution areas, Chicago, LA, and New York allowing them to be both nationally and globally distributed. In preparing for food disruptions, stockpiling processed foods is the easiest option – but with only three distribution hubs, those foodstuffs are not necessarily secured.

The researchers acknowledge that analyzing the agri-food supply chain solely based on distribution is insufficient. Other considerations might include analysis be mass, which impacts the mode of transportation, or calories and nutrients that would help prioritize how we might build more resilience into these networks.

USDA plans to improve agri-food supply chain resilience, include

While some might consider the USDA plans to increase the supply of food, including an “organic transition” program and urban farming commendable, and applaud infusions of money to reduce food “deserts” and subsidize the purchase of foods by seniors, and those with nutritional deficiencies only urban farming and reduction of food deserts address issues in the supply chain. Could some of those other funds, significantly the $300 million earmarked for “organic transitioning” (where the food is more costly but not necessarily more nutritious), go to “harden” the roads, rails, and bridges leading from our few transportation hubs to the rest of the country?

Source: Structural chokepoints determine the resilience of agri-food supply chains in the United States. Nature Food DOI: 10.1038/s43016-023-00793-



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