Every doctor at Family Healthcare Associates is a part of our family. That’s why we want to take a moment to shine a spotlight on one of our amazing physicians so you can see the people behind the lab coats. This week we turn it over to Dr. An Bui Wong, one of our Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine in our Arlington office, for a closer look.
Getting To Know Our Family of Doctors
When it comes to doctors, we’ve all had that moment in our lives when we first got interested in practicing medicine. Mine was when I was six-years-old, which might surprise you. My grandmother was in the hospital. I remember, one day, when I was there for a visit, she had a seizure, and group of doctors and nurses came rushing in to help her. One of the doctors treating my grandmother, saw me in the corner and came over to make sure that I was okay. That little act of kindness made a big impression on me, even at six. I thought, “Doctors take care of patients and their families, too?” I was interested in medicine from that day on.
At first, everything in medicine interested me. Initially, I thought I wanted to practice pediatrics. But then I learned how family doctors work, and discovered they have a variety of ways they can serve people (not just one). When I was making my decision, I remember thinking about my own family. I thought, ‘If I’m not going to become a specialist and be an expert in something, then maybe I can know a little bit about everything, and help direct them to where they need to be?’
Ultimately, that’s what happened. I became a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine who specializes in Family Medicine. With my Osteopath outlook, we focus on the whole body, not just the ailment. We look for other factors that might be contributing to a patient’s particular illness. That’s what drew me into the Osteopathic medicine—the whole body—and family medicine just fell into that.
As for how I joined our network? I was invited by Dr. Shelle Barber to join in 2009 right after I had completed my residency. Coincidentally, we both went to the same medical school (University of Texas Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine) and we also did our residency together—so it was a natural fit. Dr. Barber said Family Healthcare Associates was a great group of like-minded doctors who have the same work ethic. Now that I‘ve been here for 13 years, I can attest that everything Dr. Barber said was true. I really love working here.
One of the best parts about being a family doctor is it’s really gratifying, relationship- wise. By getting to know our patients as human-beings, we build up that trust you need when you’re developing a long-term relationship. It helps that I get to treat my patients through the different stages of their lives. These days, I get to treat multiple generations of families (from babies to their grandparents). This kind of access helps me to get to know their family dynamics and histories and see what else is going on in their lives.
If a patient has something major going on, and is seeing a lot of specialists who are giving them different information, they’ll come back to us with their questions, and we will guide them through the process. They know that we’re not going to give them textbook answers because we know them personally. So, if a patient is seriously ill and weighing their options, we can talk honestly about any tough decisions they face and make a decision that is best for their quality of life.
Looking back, joining Family Healthcare Associates has been really good for me because it’s been a great way to give back to my community here in Arlington where I grew up. I get to treat some of my old high school teachers as well as firefighters and police officers from the community. I really like it here. Yes, it’s hot in the summers, but the Metroplex is a great place to work and raise a family.