Dr. Frederick M. Barken is a primary care physician. He practiced solo Internal Medicine in rural upstate New York for nearly 25 years, until unfavorable trends in US health care policy made that practice no longer a possibility. Upon leaving practice he set out to write about his professional experiences and to record his reflections on the practice of primary care medicine. Using personal anecdotes accumulated over a quarter-century of care, he reminds us of the central role of the physician-patient relationship as the cornerstone of American health. The result is his new book, Out Of Practice: Fighting For Primary Care Medicine In America, to be released by Cornell University Press in March, 2011.
Dr. Barken received his undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree in Physiology from Cornell University. He attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and then completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and licensed to practice medicine in the state of New York. He is now focusing on the current problems confronting primary care physicians and their patients, problems that leave the special relational quality of good primary care in a precarious position and in grave jeopardy.
Now serving as the Medical Director for Cayuga Medical Associates in an administrative role, Dr. Barken is keenly aware of the emerging shortage of primary care doctors and the difficulty recruiting new, young, and enthusiastic physicians to that field. At the same time, as Vice President of the Board at Longview, an Ithaca-based assisted care living facility for the elderly, he appreciates all too well the demographic of an aging US and the extraordinary strain it places on American health care providers. Dr. Barken’s book illustrates and explains the current crisis confronting primary care physicians and their patients. He seeks to promote the preservation of the special relationship between the two.
Dr. Barken and his wife live in Ithaca, where they raised their four children. He lectures on health care issues at Ithaca College.