"At the center of medicine there is always a human relationship between a patient and a doctor."
Janet Walker, MD
ABS Immediate Past President
Janet grew up in a small town in eastern Ohio, the youngest of 5 siblings, riding her pony and then horse that she trained herself.
Upon completing her undergraduate degree at Ohio State University (go Bucks!), she attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, largely funded by an Air Force scholarship. She was introduced to Balint groups in her family medicine residency at MUSC in Charleston, where after presenting multiple patients, she developed her signature talk Doctoring Friends, Coworkers, VIPs and Family, A Glimpse of Family Medicine in the Context of Community.
Following residency, she began her active duty pay-back in the Air Force. Three years of pay-back turned into a 20-year Air Force career. More than half of that was spent teaching in family medicine residency programs, incorporating weekly Balint groups for all residents. Her military service included a 6-year stint in Germany, where she also furthered her horseback riding career with specific dressage training and purchased several horses.
After Air Force retirement in 2005 she and her wife Kathy moved to Spokane, WA where she designed their home and horse barn and arena on 10 acres. She worked subsequently in urgent care and occupational medicine, and started teaching the Art and Practice of Medicine at the brand new Elson S Floyd College of Medicine. After training 12 faculty in leading Balint groups via an Intensive on the Road (IOTR), the faculty introduced Balint groups to second year medical students. These have continued ever since, throughout their second and then third year clerkships.
Janet has served the ABS in various roles, as Council member, Treasurer, Coordinator of Intensives, faculty at a number of Intensives and IOTRs, and currently as President-Elect. Balint work has been the most satisfying aspect of her professional career!