Susan Pollart, M.D., M.Sc.
Susan M. Pollart, M.D., M.Sc.
Ruth E. Murdaugh Professor
Associate Dean for Faculty Development
M.D. Degree: University of Virginia
Residency: Family Medicine, University of Virginia, Chief Resident
You can tell a lot about a ten year old by the kind of books she checks out of the library. When I was in elementary school, I always checked out biographies. From my earliest years, I was fascinated by peoples' stories. Those same stories are what make family medicine fascinating to me.
I am an "Irish twin" born 11 months after my older brother, the second of what would be a family of five children born over a span of six years. My parents are both products of the Depression and saw education as their ticket out of humble surroundings. This love and respect of education was passed to the five of us and accounts for my early desire to pursue a medical degree.
I chose family medicine as a career when it was in its first decade as a specialty. I still love it and I am gratified that there is increasing recognition of the key role that family physicians can play in the health of our country.
I received my undergraduate education in West Virginia, my family's home during my teen years. I came to Virginia in 1978 to attend medical school and have been in Charlottesville ever since. I completed residency at UVA in 1985, serving as chief resident my last year and then went on to do three years of clinical and bench research in allergy as part of a Public Health Service payback.
In 1988, I joined the faculty with a joint appointment in Family Medicine and the Allergy Division of Internal Medicine. In my years since then, I have enjoyed participating in research related to risk factors for asthma, teaching medical students and residents, developing and directing a scholarship program for students bound for a career in generalist medicine and providing the full range of patient care in family medicine including obstetrics. In 2006, I joined the staff of the Office of the Dean of the School of Medicine and currently serve as Associate Dean for Faculty Development while continuing to spend about a third of my team as a family physicians. I often think of my dean role as a natural extension of my career as family doctor. In both roles I take great pleasure in helping those that I serve reach their personal and professional goals.
I am currently the Ruth E. Murdaugh Professor of Family Medicine. As my years in family medicine grow, so does the collection of stories I have experienced with patients, students, and colleagues. While I am fascinated by the advances in medical science, it is the richness of the stories that I hear that will always keep me interested and energized in my daily work.