First a pharmacist, now a physician

Jason Frisbee, D.O., PharmD, Class of 2017, has pursued a health-related career in one form or another. He started out attending school to become a pharmacist, but ended up expanding his health care knowledge with completing medical school.

His desire to pursue a career as a physician began while he was completing a critical care pharmacy residency at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, W.Va. Frisbee's interaction from working alongside Tom Takubo, D.O., a WVSOM alumnus, and Doug Haden, M.D., in the intensive care unit played a huge part in his decision to pursue medicine.

"While working with these men my interest in learning more about physical exam and formulating a differential diagnosis began and we started discussing the potential for me to become a physician," the Parrottsville, Tenn., native said. "I always enjoyed learning and I figured 'what better way to serve my patients' than to expand on the pharmacology knowledge that had been bestowed upon me and augment this foundation with the in-depth training of medical school."

Takubo was a major influence in Frisbee's decision to attend not only osteopathic medical school, but specifically WVSOM. Frisbee said he was drawn to Takubo's charisma and desire to teach students as a preceptor.

"Once I started contemplating going back to school I spoke with him and he told me all about his alma mater. On one of his days off he even gave me a tour of the campus. I just figured that if WVSOM continually puts out physicians like Dr. Takubo then just show me where to sign," he said.

Frisbee completed his rotations in the Statewide Campus system's Southeast Region at Princeton Community Hospital. Takubo's desire to teach must have rubbed off on Frisbee, because he spent a good portion of his fourth-year rotations helping mentor third-year medical students. Statewide Campus Southeast Region Assistant Dean Earl "Dwight" Bundy, D.O., sung Frisbee's praises, stating that he even provided lectures to third-year students about board reviews and how to prepare.

"As I mentioned earlier, I have always enjoyed learning. However, the desire I have to learn is matched by my desire to share," Frisbee said of his interest in helping others. "If I am fortunate enough to be able to help medical students or physicians who are my junior somehow expand their knowledge base, I am more than happy to try and be of use. I feel like my motivation to help others learn stems from my own desire to learn and the fact I always try and remember, 'Now what would I have liked to have known if I could go back to being a third-year medical student?'"

Frisbee, on the cusp of starting residency as a new physician, will hang up his pharmacist coat to permanently wear a physician's coat. He said the biggest difference for him in making the switch from one health field to another is the thorough process of educating a physician and the autonomy awarded a physician.

Frisbee will be starting his residency in internal medicine at the University of Tennessee with plans on pursuing a pulmonary and critical care fellowship.