March 01, 2012

Paul Fine, MD: Physician, teacher, composer

Paul Fine, MD
What do you do at UMHS?

I’m a primary care physician. I also precept residents’ clinic and supervise residents on a general medicine hospital service. I teach clinical skills to M1’s and M2’s, give seminars on clinical topics to M3’s, and run the clinical refresher course for students returning to clinical work after time away for research.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love the variety. Each day is different and I get to spend significant time teaching and seeing patients, activities that I enjoy and view as very important (in an idealistic way). 

When you’re not working, what do you do?

I enjoy spending time with my wife (Karen) and 3 kids (Derek, Ellie, and Ben), composing piano music, reading, writing, jogging, attending concerts, listening to music or liberal arts lectures on my iPod, and watching sports. 

Composing piano music?

I’ve been composing since I was 6 years old and have produced five CD’s of original music. I’ve enjoyed giving the CD’s to interested patients and have been humbled by their enthusiastic response (that is clearly out of proportion to my actual musical abilities!). I believe the shared music has often added an important dimension to our “doctor-patient relationships.”

What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?

The “little” actions that, by gradual increments, have led to close relationships with patients, residents, and students. Also, I recall fondly speaking 3 times at commencement at the invitation of the graduating class, twice being the grateful recipient of the Galens’ Silver Shovel, and being given the opportunity to write a medical textbook.

What was the last book you read?

D-Day, by Stephen Ambrose. I’m fascinated by World War II.

Which three people (living or dead) would you invite to dinner?

That’s a tough question. I could easily choose among prominent authors, historical figures, musicians, etc. However, I’m inclined to reserve one spot at the table for my father, who died this past June and whom I miss terribly. I’d also invite my grandfathers (one a graduate of our medical school). Both died before I was born and it would be wonderful to get acquainted over some delicatessen treats.

What’s the most thrilling or adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I’d like to answer “mountain climbing,” but the closest I get is climbing the steps from the pit parking lot to the main hospital entrance each morning. I will say that the most daring (and dangerous) thing I’ve ever done is to have been an Ohio State fan at U-M for the last 26 years!