Dr. Kathleen Garbooshian

Kathleen Garbooshian, who has practiced in Rome for the last 17 years, recently joined the family practice department of Slocum-Dickson Medical Group in New Hartford as a primary care provider. Her scope of practice includes women’s preventive care. She recently spoke with In Good Health senior writer Patricia J. Malin about her career.

By Patricia J. Malin

GarbooshianQ.: What prompted your interest in medicine and health care?

A.: I was drawn to all of the sciences from a young age and I love to solve puzzles and problems. Medicine was always an obvious career path for me. I don’t think I ever seriously considered any other career.

Q.: You are a native of Central New York. What do you like about practicing here?

A.: I was born and raised in Cicero. I have been a Mohawk Valley resident since 2001. I love the seasons, the sense of community and the endless outdoor activity options. I enjoy practicing in smaller communities; the patients are friendlier and more trusting.

Q.: You have an interest in women’s preventive care. Do you believe doctors have under-recognized or dismissed many of women’s ailments in the past? What is the greatest issue or health concern facing women these days?

A.: Heart disease is very common in women and affects more women than breast cancer, yet a fair amount of women miss opportunities to decrease their risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Present day women are commonly called upon to take on multiple responsibilities, including full-time careers, children, and home life, sometimes at the expense of their own health.

I try to help women find ways to prioritize their health and incorporate healthy lifestyle choices into their busy lives.

Q.: As a practitioner of family medicine, you treat patients of all ages. How does your approach to motivate them to stay healthy differ between adults and children?

A.: My approach doesn’t necessarily change based on the age of the patient. For me, it’s vital to discover what is important for patients and then use that information to motivate them toward improved health.

Q.: I noticed you were an athlete in high school and college. What sport did you play? Did you consider becoming a coach or trainer before you settled on medicine? Did playing sports help you in treating young patients who are active in sports or adults who are weekend athletes?

A.: I ran cross-country and track in high school and college. I never really considered athletics as a career path; I was always focused on medicine. Being an athlete definitely gives a different perspective when treating athletes. Most athletes are fairly driven individuals; complete rest during injury is not their favored option.

It is sometimes a challenge to strike a balance between safety and risk of further injury and the drive to still compete in these individuals.

Some athletes are so focused on their goal that they are willing to endure great pain through an injury and won’t necessarily see the long-term risk.

Injury treatment in non-athletes is generally much more straightforward — rest, then a slow return to activity.


Lifelines

Age: 46
Hometown: Marcy
Education: Bachelor’s degree, SUNY Binghamton; Rural Medicine Education Program, Cortland; Family practice residency, Middlesex Hospital, Middletown, Conn. During her residency, she served as residency social director and chief resident
Certifications: Board-certified family physician, recertified April 2017; advanced cardiac life support, basic life support
Family: Married for 18 years
Hobbies: Golf, running, hiking, travel, pets

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