Doc of the Year: Award Comes with Responsibility

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , August 14, 2013

"There is nothing special about me. I am just a doctor trying to do what I know how to do," says Thomas E. Albani Jr., MD, who helped establish and helps run a free health clinic in Ohio. The American Academy of Family Physicians has named him 2013 Family Physician of the Year.

Between his solo practice, his volunteer clinic work and other community and professional service, Canfield, OH-based family physician Thomas E. Albani Jr., MD, figures he puts in "anywhere between 60 to 70 hours or more than that" each week.


Thomas E. Albani Jr., MD

(Photo: Ohio State University College of Medicine)

"You get tired, but honestly I feel pretty good," says Albani, 56. "There is that old axiom that if you do what you love you never work a day in your life. That is where I am at. I love what I am doing. If I am having a bad day the thing that makes me the most happy is when I go in to see my patients. They pick me up. I enjoy interacting with folks. It always helps."

Albani's longstanding dedication and commitment to providing healthcare access for the less-affluent in his native Youngstown, OH region have earned him the 2013 Family Physician of the Year award from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

In addition to his nearly 30 years of private practice, Albani helped establish the Midlothian Free Health Clinic, which works out of a church and serves a working poor patient base. The clinic gets no public money and is staffed by volunteers who provide patients with a primary care medical home. Albani, who is the medical director at the clinic, and his staff also help patients navigate the healthcare maze when more advanced, sub-specialty care is needed.

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