Leadership

Members Move Medicine: From college volunteer to emergency doctor

Christine P. Bishof, MD

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: Christine P. Bishof, MD, who is an emergency physician.

AMA member since: 2001.

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: I always thought I would be a scientist and probably work in a biology lab. When I was in college, a friend of mine was forming a volunteer program for the emergency department at the university hospital, and asked if I wanted to help out. I started volunteering weekly and, soon, I realized I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.

How I move medicine: I try to stay as up to date as possible on all the latest issues, and educate anyone who will listen to me.

Career highlights: I have been honored to serve as an alternate delegate to the AMA on the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) Delegation, as Chair of the ISMS Council on Medical Service, and as Chair and Vice Chair of the Chicago Medical Society. I have also chaired the ISMS Resident & Fellow Section and Medical Student Section Governing Council while in training.

Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: I still believe that medicine is a calling. It never has been, and never will be a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Be prepared to make huge sacrifices, but it is totally worth it.

Aspect of my work that means the most: Everyone who comes to the emergency department has fears about what’s going on with them.  When I can successfully identify and help alleviate those fears, and I see the smiles and looks of relief and thanks, all the headaches of the broken system go by the wayside.

My hope for the future of medicine: I hope we can bring joy back to the practice of medicine by making the patient-physician relationship of paramount importance again and eliminating the practice of defensive medicine through liability reform.

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.