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Top Doctors 2022 Spotlight: OhioHealth Family Physician Kimberly Austin

Dave Ghose
Columbus Monthly
Dr. Kimberly Austin

What drew you to family medicine?

I wanted to do everything! I didn’t want to limit myself to one system of the body, so I chose family medicine because it allowed me to do something different every day.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I’ve had patients begin to weep in gratitude, just telling me how thankful they are to have felt seen and heard.  Some have had concerns that others had dismissed. In those cases, I just listen, order tests and reassure our patients that we will do our best to try to figure out what was happening, while reminding them that we did not create the body, so sometimes the result is a lot of things that are not the problem but not a definitive answer as to what the problem is. That is the most rewarding part of my job. Connecting with patients and helping to give patients dignity, while hoping to educate and provide a level of understanding so that the patient is engaged and empowered to find their best health.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic altered your practice?

The pandemic has highlighted how desperately we need to prioritize making a difference in a patient’s life and how important connection to one another is to our self-care and our mental health. I have intentionally slowed down with patients whom I see need that human connection and are suffering from the isolation that COVID-19 caused.

This story is from the 2022 Top Doctors package in the August 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.