Q: What made Dr. Frist, Sr., special?
A: Dr. Frist, Sr., had the unique capacity to really know people. He was an old-fashioned family doctor who made house calls. When we try to know people — whether it’s as a doctor, a minister or any other profession for that matter — we can discover great things and help them realize their potential.
Q: How has the patient landscape changed since you went into practice?
A: We have a much more mixed society, especially those who may be new to the country. We need to learn from people from other backgrounds that are not like our own. They can have insight into other people in our culture that we might not have.
Q: How has healthcare changed for physicians over your career?
A: It’s a much healthier environment now. When I trained, I was on call every other night for five years; that’s hard on a person and their family. I think the balance is better, but it certainly is different. When I was growing up in rural Mississippi, a doctor was part of your family. Now, it’s less so, but I think we take better care of people than we did in the sense of applying more expertise in specific areas. While I long for the old days in many ways, we’re not going to see that anymore. It was hard, but it was also extremely gratifying.