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My "10,000 Stories" Story

Susan Hogeland, CAE


I got my start as a “doctor groupie” at a young age – about eight – when my Christmas wish came true and I received what had to be the coolest Santa gift ever – a clinic tray. It was a child-sized white cart on red wheels with an IV-bag holder, three red-cross embossed clear plastic containers for cotton balls, tongue depressors and Q-tips, three smaller clear plastic containers for red, blue and green candy pills (they didn’t last long), and a tray that held forceps, a stethoscope, a syringe, scalpel and more, each in its own, neat little plastic-molded spot.


Accompanying this fabulous “toy” were a made-to-order doctor’s white jacket sewn by my mom’s best friend and a real surgical mask and cap swiped, apparently, from the University of Nebraska School of Medicine hospital by the friend’s RN daughter. I am unashamed to say I still have the jacket and cap (the mask has disappeared), carefully folded in white tissue paper in my closet….


After a bad brush some years later with algebra and geometry, I never found the will to pursue my fascination with medicine/science, although I did well in chemistry, biology and physiology classes. I entered college as a journalism major and later changed to political science while working on Capitol Hill.


What better combination of interests could one find, then, than serving as CAFP’s Executive Vice President for nearly 27 years? What a fantastic way to feed my fascination with medicine and science while still playing in politics and policy and getting to write about the experience regularly? It’s been amazing to see the caring, passion, dedication and kindness family physicians bring to their work every day and to see CAFP evolve into such a great advocate for patients and members. Here's to the next 70 years of family medicine!