Kissinger honored by W.Va. school

STEUBENVILLE – Dr. Mark A. Kissinger, a family physician with the Trinity Health System, has been selected as Primary Care Preceptor of the Year for the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Northern Region Statewide Campus.

This award is voted on by the medical students of the graduating class of the northern region based on the student voting of the quality of training received and level of commitment.

A family physician with Trinity since 2002, Kissinger, a board-certified osteopathic family physician, has been giving his time training student-physicians as a preceptor with WVSOM since 2009. In that time, he has taken numerous students for family medicine rotations.

Dr. Ralph E. Wood, FACOFP, statewide campus regional assistant dean, Northern Region says, “Our physicians are the backbone of our regional campus system. Without the dedicated commitment of Kissinger and the others just like him, we wouldn’t be able to offer the quality of education and real world experience in rotations for our students” said Dr. Ralph E. Wood, FACOFP, statewide campus regional assistant dean, northern region. “This devotion is truly the foundation of the complete medical education approach that WVSOM utilizes.”

All third-year medical students at WVSOM take a required rotation of eight weeks with a family medicine physician. Another requirement of WVSOM is that a portion of the rotations are performed in rural settings. The school was ranked No. 9 in rural medicine nationally by US News & World Report and No. 13 in family medicine. WVSOM has had the honor of being recognized for their medical training in the prestigious national report for 15 consecutive years. Wood stressed that continuity of training would not be possible without the work of the physicians and hospitals that contribute their resources to the students and schools. The magazine educational rankings continue to recognize WVSOM as a premier educational institution.

Of particular value to the shortage of family medicine physicians nationally, WVSOM had the third highest percentage of medical school graduates choose primary care residencies between 2010 and 2012. Kissinger and the other preceptors that contribute their medical knowledge are an important factor in helping to eradicate the national shortage of family medicine physicians.

A recent student who rotated with Kissinger realized that a lot of what is seen in family medicine is about education. He was impressed with how Kissinger shared his personal history and lifestyle with patients in encouraging them to make healthy decisions and empathizing with the challenges of doing so. The student, a third-year medical student of the WVSOM Class of 2015, spent eight weeks with Kissinger’s practice and learned about the importance of listening to the patient, watching for the unspoken messages and being a good role model. He was impressed with the level of trust that each patient obviously had with Kissinger.

A 1999 graduate of Ohio University, Kissinger, whose practice is located at 107 Main St. in Wintersville, said he remains devoted to his profession, values his time with his patients and treasures the ability to transfer the knowledge that he has gained to the next generation of doctors.