Alumni Portrait: Patricia McFall Calhoun, M.D. ’89
By Mary Goodwin
Eighteen months ago, Patricia McFall Calhoun, M.D. ’89, was sifting through mail on her desk when she came across a silver envelope from the University of Florida. She was amazed to realize that 25 years had passed since she graduated from the College of Medicine. Soon after, she was contacted by the Office of Medical Alumni Affairs about becoming a class representative to help with reunion efforts and to raise funds for the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building.
Her first question about the building was, “Are medical students still taking classes in those old classrooms and heading down to the ‘dungeon’ for lab? That hasn’t changed in 25 years?”
“I was determined to help make a change and assist in raising awareness and funding,” Calhoun said.
This newfound passion led her to not only serve as a class representative, but to also become a member of the Medical Alumni Board of Directors, a four-year term she was elected to last year. In this role, she helps advance the efforts of the college while bringing together alumni and educating them on the latest initiatives.
“I am honored and humbled to serve on this board,” Calhoun said. “I look forward to seeing increased support for the medical education building, as well as awareness of the importance of all alumni giving back.”
Calhoun said she is interested in focusing on the rising cost of medical education and helping the college offer more financial assistance to its students who are facing significant medical school debt.
“We need funding to continue to attract and educate the caliber of students we want to become our future doctors,” she said.
Calhoun extends this commitment to education to her patients at Baptist Primary Care in Jacksonville, where she has worked for the last 23 years. As a family physician, she offers the entire spectrum of care to every age, from newborns to patients over the age of 90.
As a volunteer faculty member for the College of Medicine, she also enjoys teaching first-year UF medical students in their Introduction to Clinical Practice course and mentoring premedical college students. In addition, she serves as a preceptor for ARNP and PA students from various programs.
“A major part of family medicine is education,” she said. “So many health problems stem from a lack of knowledge, whether it’s diet, availability of medicine, or general health. I would like to be a voice not only to fellow alumni but also to the community.”
Calhoun also uses her community involvement to help spread awareness. She serves as medical director of the Women’s Health Strategy at Baptist Health and serves on the board of directors for the South African Children’s Resiliency Project, a nonprofit that provides homes to orphans from families affected by AIDS. She was recently named as a 2015 Jacksonville Business Journal Woman of Influence, elected to the Baptist Primary Care Board of Directors and will be chairing the 2016 annual Jacksonville health expo, “Good for You: Girls’ Day Out.” In addition, she has spent the last 19 years volunteering as a team/tournament physician for her five sons’ sports teams.
“I truly believe my greatest accomplishment in medicine is serving one patient at a time,” Calhoun said. “I strive to help each person I can along the way and hope I’ve made an impact. I feel blessed to have been able to practice medicine for 25 years and look forward to practicing for another 25.”