Humans of TFM
Dr. Janelle Guirguis-Blake, Family Medicine Faculty
"Point Defiance is a 700-acre city park, one of the largest city parks in the country. It’s actually what convinced me to move to Tacoma 15 years ago from Washington DC. I am a city person true and true, and loved living in DC and wasn’t sure how I could imagine living anywhere else. But it was time to think about other parts of our lives. We had been in the PNW a couple times to go kayaking and hiking and loved it, so we looked here. I still wasn’t totally convinced about Tacoma, but when I came here it sort of changed my world view, that I could have this amazing job and working with these amazing people, and also after a long day of work I could be here in 10 minutes and be in a totally different world. When I saw what my future could be… this park represents what my future would be, and in fact that has been what my future became; A world with a great family at work and my family at home, where I’ve spent a ton of time outside and where we’ve raised our girls.
My mother is a doctor, a general practitioner. My parents both immigrated from Egypt about 50 years ago, so my upbringing is very much influenced by the first-generation experience. As many first-generation immigrants learn, the expectations of your parents plays huge in your life. Seeing that my mom could do it, then come to this country and get her certification and practice, that made it real for me."
Dr. Elizabeth Karin, TFM Resident
“I love it here. The pier on the Ruston Waterway is one of my calm, go-to places in Tacoma, because you can see the mountains, you can see the water. You’re pretty much guaranteed to see seals which I find very exciting. When you’re lucky you can see whales too. There are fish to eat and fish to talk to. It’s a good spot to sit and read, or sit and look, or have a phone call. It smells good, it’s all the best parts of living in Tacoma. I feel a lot of gratitude. I try to be intentional about it. I do have my gratitude journal, which I started intern year. I actually have three gratitude journals now because I finished them. I try to do it every night before I go to bed. When I sit here, I feel very grateful which is I think why I like this place. I love the clouds in Tacoma. They make me want to learn more about clouds.”
Dr. Kerry Watrin, Program Director
“These days with Black Lives Matter, you get to thinking about the culture you grew up in… I was at the end of the 60’s. Going back to Joseph Campbell; He says “everybody has their myth that’s driving you”. You latch onto that and think that’s how the world works. You can figure out what’s your myth event, and you are supposed to figure out what you want to do, and you follow your bliss. That was his advice. I feel like I followed my bliss. But my myth event… It was the late 60’s and I went to the world boyscout Jamboree in Farragut Idaho. Beautiful. We all put up our tents and we would trade badges with people from Brazil and the whole world. It was a “one world” feeling. And then one day we all crammed into this one tent to watch this one TV. And it was a man stepping on the moon. They panned back and there was the little blue marble. The One World Myth. But the myth was incomplete. Most of the boyscouts were white, and adopting an African American son taught me a lot. And there were no girls there. I am the program director of a predominantly female residency and have been for 10 years. So sometimes you gotta grow. Your myth is too small.”