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W.Va. native sets sights on medical career after being exposed to it her entire life

Breann Poling, D.O., grew up always exposed to medicine, so it’s no surprise that the Class of 2018 graduate would one day be a physician.

Poling’s father is a family physician and his enthusiasm and passion for his career ultimately trickled down to her. 

“I always wanted to do something I was passionate about and something I loved that my heart was in,” the Beckley, W.Va., native said. 

“Seeing my dad so happy with his career choice, and always having an interest myself in science and medicine is why I wanted to be a physician. I’ve seen how medicine and being a family physician positively impacts lives.”

Poling’s interest in science is a result of her fascination with the human body, which she admits she is in awe of. 

“If you think about everything that has to go right with the body just so you can wake up and breathe — it’s amazing,” she said. “Some people complain about their ailments or what is wrong with them, but they don’t really realize all the simple things that have to go right for you to be able to simply wake up and breathe on your own.”

Another aspect of a career in health care that Poling is looking forward to as a new physician is building relationships with patients. It’s also a reason why she was drawn to a primary care specialty.

“You get to do a little bit of everything. You can see babies or geriatric patients. You can take care of a person from the time they are born until they die if you choose. You get to build a rapport with patients,” she said.

Poling likes the idea how primary care physicians can provide for a patient in such a substantial way their entire life. She knows that family physicians have to rely on the services of specialists as well, but being a primary care physician means she will be “the quarterback” of a patient’s health care team. Being able to coordinate the patient’s care results in building a lifelong rapport. 

Spending her entire life in West Virginia Poling knew she had the opportunity to attend a medical school that provided a quality education right in her backyard. She said that she knew WVSOM would provide her the education and experiences she needed to carry through to her work as a physician. 

“I got that gut feeling that this was the place for me,” she said. “WVSOM has an excellent reputation of providing good physicians. I was very fortunate to have one of the best medical schools so close to home.”

Now that Poling has made the transition from medical student to physician she has started on a new path in her life. She is completing a family medicine residency at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C. She may have left West Virginia, but Poling will take with her all the years of being exposed to medicine and being a compassionate physician. 

“I just want to be a good person, a good doctor and take the extra time to talk with my patients,” she said. “The part of the osteopathic profession that really stands out to me is that you can emphasize that the body is a unit, that thoughts, feelings and emotions are all tied to a person’s physical health and well-being. I will do my best to try and be a good friend, good person, and overall good physician to my patients and fellow colleagues.”

Date Added: 
Tuesday, February 12, 2019