Now officially retired from practice, Rebecca Hart, MD, has dipped her toes into many different types of family medicine throughout her career. She's practiced full-scope rural medicine, spent many years as faculty in academia, including as a residency program director in two different states, and came back to private practice to finish out her career. Hart may be retired from the clinic, but she still stays plenty busy teaching for TAFP, the Harris County chapter, and the National Procedures Institute.
Tell us about your career path.
I had the most meandering path! I always encourage students not to feel that they have to stay in one area for their entire career. I started as a full-scope rural family physician in a two-person private practice. From there I entered academics as faculty and then progressed on to residency director, serving at three different programs in Texas and Hawaii. After 20+ years of teaching and practice in academics, I returned to private practice for the last 12 years in a small three-person group in League City, and then a large single specialty group practice at Village Medical.
Now, I have just recently retired from clinical practice and strictly teach for TAFP, the Harris County chapter of TAFP, and the National Procedures Institute. I have equally enjoyed every aspect of family medicine from teaching medical students, residents, and physicians, to publishing articles and writing grants, to performing surgical procedures in the office and O.R., to one-on-one practice with my private patients. What a privilege and thrill it has been to do this valuable work and service to our patients for the past 33 years.
Who or what inspired you to become a family physician?
Like most of my colleagues, I enjoyed all of my rotations in medical school, making family medicine the obvious choice. I considered OBGYN because of my love of deliveries and surgical obstetrics, but I would have missed out on solving the mysteries of internal medicine — finding the right diagnosis to unusual presentations. It's like solving a puzzle every time.
My fascination with endocrinology could also be developed in family medicine. So, it fit for me to deliver babies, do C-sections and tubals, see medicine cases with diagnostic dilemmas, and enjoy my fascination with hormone therapy and endocrinology problems. Participating in the developments in diabetes therapies over the last 32 years has been a great joy — now being able to get most patients to goal, when in the past it was one of the most frustrating areas of medicine.
What are your practice passions?
I consider myself an expert in hormone replacement therapy for men and women, women's health issues, maternity care topics, menopause, and endocrinology subjects such as diabetes and thyroid diseases. I love staying up to date on family medicine topics. I am proud to say that I am one of those strange nerds who actually enjoys taking tests and loves my virtual and in-person KSA teaching sessions with TAFP.
Why do you choose to be a TAFP member?
I was introduced to TAFP in 1991 in my first rural practice by Dr. Tom Mueller. I was active in the maternity care subcommittee, researching the problems of access to maternity care in Texas. From there I became interested in providing CME for Texas family physicians and have been active in the CME commission and planning committees. I find great joy in my long-term friendships here at TAFP and always look forward to seeing everyone at our in-person meetings. I will stay active in TAFP for years to come in order to keep those wonderful friendships with my colleagues and our stellar TAFP staff members.
What do you enjoy doing outside of medicine?
I enjoy visiting my children and grandchildren, oil painting, playing piano, composing music, attending theater and classical concerts, cruising the world with my husband, breeding exotic freshwater angelfish, gardening, playing pool, cards, and especially Mah Jong (tournaments!), cooking, and caring for my two crazy dogs.
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in TAFP News Now and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting TAFP by email at email@example.com or by phone at (512) 329-8666.