Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2020 - 24

A Salute to Dr. Michael Baxter on His Retirement

Physician, Teacher, Leader, Friend

I suspect that I have known Mike Baxter as long as any other
physician in Berks County. My association with Mike Baxter goes
back to the late 1970s, when he was a medical student at Temple
Med and we both served on Temple Medical School's Admissions
Committee. His selection to function as a student representative
to this important committee was a preview of his interest in, and
aptitude for, leadership and service to his newly chosen profession.
Mike and I both relocated to Reading Hospital in 1990, the year he
was selected to Chair the hospital's Family Medicine Residency, a
post at which he has proven to be fantastically successful, and where
he has positively influenced the career development of hundreds of
young physicians.
It was at this point in our careers that Mike and I both recognized
and publically expressed our common love and deep respect for
Alfred E. Neumann, and I have liked to gently kid around with
Mike that he somewhat resembles the "What me Worry" hero of
Mad Magazine. I have suspected that Mike is secretly annoyed by
this comparison. I haven't asked Alfred how he feels about it.

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On a more serious note, Mike has received wide recognition of
his medical leadership at Reading Hospital. He was appropriately
granted the Berks Visiting Nurse Association's Health Care
Champion Award, and is known as the moving force behind the
establishment of the Berks Community Health Center in 2012.
Mike is the media's "go to guy" for information about public health
issues in Berks County. However, the organization that we both
served in leadership capacities overlapped most closely at the Berks
County Medical Society, which Mike has capably served as President
and as Chair of the Executive Committee, the two most prominent
leadership positions in the Society. There is universal recognition
that Mike put his stamp on these two positions, restructuring
the activities of the Society along the format of a compass, with
the four directions of purpose being professionalism, education,
advocacy, and collegiality (all of which Mike exemplifies). Mike
was instrumental in establishing the Berks County Medical Society's
Compass Award, for which he is most appropriately the third
recipient. I have great regard for Mike's intellect, energy, vision,
and organizational skill. But the thing I admire most about Mike is
his ability to achieve consensus among a group that is famous for its
divergent attitudes, philosophies, and objectives. His unique ability
to keep the Society moving forward in the face of adversity sets him
apart from the rest of us. I have the greatest respect, admiration,
and affection for Mike Baxter. I consider it an outstanding privilege
to have worked closely with Mike for all these years, and I wish him
the very best in his retirement.
Ray Truex, Jr., MD, FACS, FAANS
President, BCMS 2001


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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2020

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