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McKersie, RobIf you attended our 3rd Annual Fellows for Life Conference, you might have noticed a tall, sandy-haired man with a serious-looking camera snapping shots of you and your peers as they mingled, networked, and attended breakout sessions.

That volunteer photographer (whose album of conference shots we’ll be posting shortly to our Facebook account) was Rob McKersie, MD, a member of the very first class of Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows in 1995-96.

And now—in addition to donating his photographic talents to ASF—he’ll be discussing his career as a champion for social justice at a Nov. 19 Fellows for Life Lecture at Rush University in Chicago.

Brought up in a family of teachers, Dr. McKersie was first drawn to a career in education. Working with inner city youth in Chicago and eighth-graders in East Palo Alto, California, he witnessed the paucity of available health care for disadvantaged students and their families. At mid-life, he was inspired to become a doctor and received his medical degree from Rush University. While a medical student and a Schweitzer Fellow, McKersie worked with Music Theatre Workshop (now Story Catchers Theatre), helping girls in prison create original productions about their lives.

Dr. McKersie became a family physician and for the better part of a decade worked on the South and West sides of Chicago. He currently specializes in treating high-risk obstetrics in inner cities and internationally. He regularly volunteers in Nepal, where he sees patients and teaches physical diagnostic skills to Nepalese healthcare providers.

In 2005, he published a memoir, In The Foothills Of Medicine, A Young Doctor’s Journey From The Inner City Of Chicago To The Mountains of Nepal.

Today, Dr. McKersie serves on the Chicago Schweitzer Advisory Council, and on the board of Himalayan Health Care. He is a spokesman for Physicians for a National Health Program and reviews articles for the Narrative Matters section of Health Affairs. He is a faculty member at the Lawrence Family Medicine Residency Program in Lawrence, MA, and lives in Boxford, MA with his wife Michele and his two children, Robbie and Mia.

Want to talk to Dr. McKersie in person about his experiences? Here are the details on his upcoming Fellows for Life Lecture:

When: Thurs., November 19, 2009 6:00 pm
Rush University Medical Center, 600 S. Paulina, Lecture Hall 540
RSVP to: rsvp@hmprg.org or call 312 372-4292 ext. 24
Free. Light meal will be served. Reservations suggested.