March 6, 2013
Center for Healthy Living profile: Dr. Carolyn Cooper
Dr. Carolyn Cooper is one of the primary care
providers at the Center for Healthy Living. (Rodney McPhail/HR Communications)
Today begins a series featuring staff who work at Purdue's new Center for Healthy Living. First up is Dr. Carolyn Cooper.
Why did you choose a career in family practice medicine?
When I was a teenager, I lost both of my parents to lung cancer, three years apart. My experiences in dealing with doctors and hospitals at that time taught me that the most important member of the health care team is the family physician. That is the person who can interpret what the specialists are doing and communicate to families in a manner they can understand. When I began medical school, there was never a doubt in my mind that family medicine was what I wanted to do.
What attracted you to the Center for Healthy Living?
I really like the focus on wellness and education. So many conditions can be treated with education and lifestyle changes, but in a traditional private practice setting, there is no time to do that type of teaching. I am excited to be part of a patient-focused model where we can meet the needs of the whole person.
If a person already has a primary care physician and wants to continue seeing that doctor, how might the center collaborate with the patient's doctor?
I certainly understand loyalty to one's physician and encourage patients to stay with a physician they are comfortable with. The Center for Healthy Living is able to provide services for patient convenience, such blood draws for labs ordered by their private physician, dietary counseling, allergy shots and more. If the services of a physician or nurse practitioner are needed, then we can provide that and send records back to their primary care physician with the patient's permission.
What do you enjoy in your time away from the job?My husband and I have two teenagers involved in many school activities and 4-H. Our daughter shows horses and our son shows llamas. We are also amateur home winemakers, and I play organ for my church.