It’s that time again! Let’s delve into the life of one of the more experienced members of Wiscasset Family Medicine, Sarah Robey. She is known for her kindness and wisdom, but I am impressed by her longevity in this field where so many get burned out. I have to find out how/ why and what she is doing to have made it this far and still have the spark of enthusiasm!
Dr. Linville: Sarah, how and when did you decide to become a Physician Assistant?
Sarah Robey: My father was a pediatrician and I had thought about going to medical school, but my real dream was to have a farm and a family, and to be able to earn a living in a rural area. The concept of being a PA was still very new in the mid 1970s. The first day at Johns Hopkins our class was warned that it was likely we would never have a job, that this new career might never take off and that we were taking a big chance going through our training. When I graduated virtually no one knew what a PA was. Dr. Kitfield took a chance on me 36 years ago.
Dr. Linville: Please share a few of your favorite things about practicing at Wiscasset Family Medicine.
Sarah Robey: We are a private practice so we make our own decisions and create our own culture. We have always practiced as partners to our patients, encouraging them to captain their own ship as much as possible, giving patients the tools they need to stay healthy. In the office we work as a team, and every voice is valued. We strive to keep growing and changing, remain open to new ideas and changes in society. Collaborating with specialists in Maine and beyond is one of the things I enjoy most.
Dr. Linville: What do you like to do most with your free time?
Sarah Robey: I am self described manic gardener/viewscaper. I have been working on a 50 acre wood lot since I moved to Maine in the 1970s. I have created huge perennial gardens and a vegetable garden. We burn our own firewood. I am a Tree Farmer and I love to build stone walls. I often am seen with a chainsaw in hand or on a tractor. I also love to travel, mostly walking long distances in Europe.
Dr. Linville: What are some of the bigger changes (positive or negative) that you have seen in healthcare during your tenure?
Sarah Robey: The loss of Mainecare for low income adults has been a terrible thing. When I came to Maine in the 1970s I saw diseases you mostly read about in text books because people lacked access to preventive care. We seem to be returning to that era for a large segment of our community, many people lack insurance and have no ability to take on medical bills so they stay away from care. Additionally the rising cost of pharmaceuticals is astounding.
Dr. Linville: Please tell us something that patients and staff might not know about you.
- I have worked as a cowboy in both Alberta and New Mexico.
- I dug peat in the Hebrides for the Laphroig Scotch distillery.
- I made the first ascent of Mt. Tom White in the Chugach Range in Alaska.
- My husband is the Curator of Exhibits at the Maine Maritime Museum.
- I have a rule in my life that everyday I don’t work at the office I have to create something that makes the world more beautiful or interesting.
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