Philadelphia Medicine Summer 2021 - 9

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Permut began his medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico.
" During my years at Penn, I actually did research in the anatomy
department at Temple, and when I left to start medical school in
Mexico, my professor was an MD PHD at Temple, Dr. Carson
Schneck, " Permut said. " He said you really need to get good training
in pathology. So interestingly, it wasn't that I had to get really good
training in anatomy, which was his area of study, but in pathology. "
During the summer months between years in Mexico, Permut
looked for an externship in pathology and wound up doing it with
Dr. Harvey Watts at Episcopal Hospital, a tenured professor of
pathology at Temple.
Watts " took a real interest in my career, and through his influence,
I was able to transfer from medical school in Mexico to the second
year at Temple, and so I graduated from Temple, " Permut said. " The
experience in Mexico and that ability to transfer to Temple Medical
School were really defining times in my life and my career. "
Health care legislation
Much has changed since Permut was a child going to the doctor's
office.
" Interestingly, before Medicare and Medicaid, when the federal
government was talking about passing health care legislation for
the elderly, I was with my mother at her doctor's visit, " Permut said.
" He said to me, you know, you are crazy for thinking about going
into medicine. He said the government's going to pass Medicare and
we are all going to be on a fixed salary, and if you make $15,000 a
year, you'll be lucky. I said, you know, I think my dad makes about
$15,000 a year, and we're happy. If it's a career I think will be fulfilling,
that will be just fine. "
Unfortunately, over the past 25 years, physician fees have been
frozen under Medicare, Permut said, and actually it has weighted
down physician salaries.
But Permut said some things haven't changed in his 46-year-old
career. That includes his love for medicine.
" It's been an incredible 46 years, " he said.
The most drama for Permut in his career was actually getting
into medical school.
" Probably the most dramatic thing for me was, I wasn't a very
good student at Penn and did not get accepted into a U.S. medical
school out of college, " he said.
Honored for work
Permut has been honored many times in 46 years.
He began in solo private practice in the inner city of Wilmington
in 1975. In 1976, the hospital where he did most of his in-patient
care, St. Francis Hospital, " asked me to start a family medicine
residency at their hospital, " Permut said.
" The medical director, Dr. William H. Duncan, was actually a
very prominent Temple alum, " Permut said.
Duncan graduated from West Point, served in the military and
then went to medical school at Temple.
" So through his influence, our family practice residency began a
student site for family practice training for Temple medical students, "
he said. " Our residency site became one of the most popular sites
for Temple medical students, so we received the preceptor of the
year award. It was our whole faculty that was honored as preceptor
of the year for Temple Medical School. "
For his advocacy, a few years ago, Permut received the Tilton
Award by the Tilton Foundation in Wilmington, named after Dr.
James Tilton, an Army surgeon general during the Revolutionary War.
Permut said Tilton was known for a procedure in which soldiers
with infected wounds were kept separate from those who were
uninfected, leading to better outcomes, in the days " before Pasteur,
germ theory, antibiotics and all of that, " Permut said. " Tilton's
contributions to medicine were astounding. "
Permut was president of the Medical Society of Delaware from
1992 to 1993, during the Clinton years, he said, when President
Clinton delegated health care reform to his wife and one-time U.S.
presidential candidate, Hillary.
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine/PhiladelphiaMedicine_Summer2021
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