Dr. Devin Carey graduated from The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in 2018 and will practice with InterMountain Medical Group as a third-generation physician. Below, she shares her unexpected journey into medicine and how her passion for patients inspires her work.
What inspired you to study medicine?
My grandfather practiced medicine in his house in Kingston in the 1930s. He and my nonie, a schoolteacher from humble beginnings, had three children who went on to be doctors, including my father, Dr. John L. Carey, my uncle, Dr. Edward Carey and my aunt, Dr. Jonelle Rowe. Everyone assumed that one of the grandchildren would go into the medical field, but no one did for a long time. I’m the youngest of all the grandchildren and the last option, but felt zero pressure. I went to college and studied engineering, but when I did a project working with prosthetics, I realized I liked working with patients more than figuring out the loading pressures of joints. After talking with my parents, I felt like I wanted to go into medicine for the right reasons.
Talk about your education.
I went to St. George’s Medical School for four years, then came back to New York and did my clinical years in the Bronx.
What makes you want to stay Northeastern Pennsylvania?
I wanted to practice family medicine in a small town, so I decided, “Why not do it in the town where I grew up in, where my dad’s still practicing and I have support?”
What are some of the prevalent healthcare needs in the area?
I grew up in the Back Mountain where it’s very affluent, but I think it’s a different population than where I did my training in Wilkes-Barre. I hope to continue volunteering when I begin practice. I also think this area needs younger physicians in general, as well as female physicians in primary care. I know a lot of primary care doctors also don’t do OB/GYN care, but I believe it’s a much needed resource.
What are some things you have learned about yourself during your residency at The Wright Center?
I tend to take on people’s stress, even when I leave work. I think I’ve done a lot better in recognizing I can’t fix everything. I’m also more like my dad than I thought; when talking with patients, I joke and laugh around like him. At first it scared me, but now I realize it’s probably a good thing.
Talk about your connection with the patients.
I have patients who have been exclusively seeing me for three years and I’ve helped them through various health challenges. They ask me questions and congratulated me on passing my board exams. It’s really nice and I’m genuinely going to miss a lot of them now.
How important is it for you to continue the family tradition of practicing medicine?
It was never my goal and I never felt pressured, but now that I’m here, I’m so proud. I think it’s awesome that soon there will be a hundred years of Dr. Careys in this community. I had one patient in residency in her late 90s, and we figured out that my grandfather delivered her baby. I’m excited to be part of that tradition.
Talk about your involvement within the community.
I’ve served as a resident member of the Luzerne County Medical Board. They talk about all the health issues in Pennsylvania, from women’s health to blood pressure regulations, and debate what they should and should not support. Dr. Anistranski has also asked me if I want to be the county representative for the PA Women Physicians Caucus. It’s so easy for physicians or anyone to get into their “bubble” and not look out. I think it’s important for me to keep my eyes open, hear what’s going on and not get caught up with everyday work.
Do you have any tips to prevent burnout?
In the beginning, don’t be concerned with seeing as many patients a day as possible. I’m planning to start slow and build, and I think it’s better for me and for the patients.
How does it make you feel to know you’ll be practicing medicine in Northeastern Pennsylvania?
It’s an honor and privilege to serve my community. I went to grade school and high school here, and I now have teachers that say they will be my patients. Although it’s nerve-racking, it’s an honor. This area has given me so much and I’m ready to give back.