Leadership

Hilary E. Fairbrother, MD: Members Move Medicine: Change starts with education

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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: Hilary E. Fairbrother, MD, an adult and pediatric emergency physician in Houston.

AMA member since: 2002.

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: I wanted to help people. I love meeting people and having meaningful interactions with them. Medicine seemed a natural fit for someone who was good in science and enjoyed human interaction.

How I move medicine: I attempt to forge an intersection between health care policy and education. I am passionate about many different aspects of health care policy, but I think that we are truly lacking in the policy surrounding education. If we can change how physicians are educated, where they are educated, the level of debt they accrue ... then we can change access to care and health outcomes for our patients.

Career highlights: I think that I have helped strengthen the voice of the younger sections of the AMA. As the AMA Young Physicians Section delegate, I have helped bring the sections together to advocate for DACA recipients, for the acknowledgement that gun violence is a public health crisis, and to help save graduate medical education funding in Congress.

Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: Do it. Best job ever. It is a gift and privilege to do what we do. It is not easy and it will not make you rich. But it is rewarding and intriguing. I enjoy going to work every day and I know that I make the world a better place. How many people can say that and really mean it?

Aspect of my work that means the most: The simple human interactions. The easing of suffering. The sharing of sorrow when the outcomes cannot be altered. The resuscitation of the very ill. The human touch at the end of life. Allowing patients to die with dignity with their loved ones at their side.

Learn more about AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.