Service to Profession Award: Joan Addington-White M.D.

Why did you choose your specialty? I chose internal medicine because I love the complexity of the medical problems one has to sort through with patients and their families.

How long have you been practicing? It has been seventeen years since I finished my residency.
Why did you choose to work in Madison? My husband and I decided that Madison was a perfect place to live while I was in medical school at the University of Chicago. We loved the idea of being part of a large university. We planned to move up here right after my residency. We had begun looking for a house when I found out I was pregnant with triplets. It took us ten years and thousands of diaper changes to get here, but we finally made it! We’ve enjoyed our ten years here and our fourth child was born in Wisconsin.

What are some exciting innovations in your specialty? In internal medicine we try to take care of all the patient’s medical needs, but we place more evidence on trying to make decisions that we know are based on good outcomes.

What are the most prominent challenges and rewards of your job? The biggest reward for me is taking good care of patients and teaching medical students and residents the best possible medicine to practice. The biggest challenges are related to providing
compassionate care to all patients no matter what their socioeconomic status is.

What’s the key to being a great doctor? Working in a medical center where I trust my colleagues. This includes physicians, scientific researchers, nurses, technicians and administrators.

What do you like best about UW clinics? What changes would you like to see in the future? My favorite thing about our clinics is the people I work with and the example we set for young physicians and medical students. I would like to see
universal health care in the future.

What’s your best health advice? Don’t smoke cigarettes, use alcohol in moderation, don’t use drugs, wear seat belts, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, don’t keep guns in your home and practice safe sex. Make sure you follow preventive health guidelines for pap smears, mammography, colon cancer screening and immunizations.

– Hannah Kiddoo

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