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Texas internist finds time for Joint Commission, marathons

From the February ACP Internist, copyright 2009 by the American College of Physicians

By Stacey Butterfield

Isabel V. Hoverman, MACP

Isabel V. Hoverman, MACPAge: 62

Occupation: Private practitioner in a four-physician group.

Current residence: Austin, Texas.

Hometown: Princeton, N.J.

Family: husband, three children, two grandchildren.

Medical school: Duke University.

Residencies: Duke and Baylor College of Medicine.

Most important lesson I learned in med school: Know your limitations, and never be afraid to ask for help.

Why I became an internist: The challenge of helping patients to manage their health: establishing rapport, making a diagnosis, then partnering with patients and families through good and bad.

First job: Counselor at girls' camp in Maine.

Most rewarding aspect of my job: My patients.

Most rewarding professional activity: Being on the board of the Joint Commission.

Future goals: I'd like to learn to speak Spanish.

Biggest challenge I've faced: How to balance work and family.

Thoughts on women in medicine: It's certainly offered obstacles and opportunities. My daughter just graduated from medical school, and I look at the opportunities that she has, and I'm pleased to see how far we've come.

Personal heroes: Eleanor Roosevelt and my children—a lawyer, an architect and a physician.

Favorite ways to spend free time: Reading, biking and running.

Books on my night stand:Out Stealing Horses: A Novel, by Per Petterson; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver; A Fine Disregard: What Makes Modern Art Modern, by Kirk Varnedoe.

Most meaningful non-medical accomplishment: Running my first marathon in 2007 and qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon the same year.

Items you can't live without: My Tempur-Pedic mattress and the Internet.

Biggest regret: None, it's never worthwhile being disappointed for long. There are too many other opportunities in life.

If I weren't a physician, I would be: A high school teacher.

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