In and Out of Scrubs
Cary Grant once said, “My father used to say- Let them see you and not the suit (or in this case, the scrubs.) That should be secondary.”
You can easily learn about Jeffrey M. Feiner, M.D. from my bio or from searching online, but perhaps you might want to know a little more about Jeff Feiner, the person, and why I chose to become a doctor.
I come from a long line of physicians- my two uncles were physicians, my paternal grandfather had an acceptance into the University of Pennsylvania’s Medical School, but he was sidetracked by WW II. My Uncle Frank was a surgeon who graduated from Hahnemann Medical College and was a physician in WWII, in the CBI theater, where he was in the original MASH hospital and awarded a bronze star. My Uncle Mike and his son Clement both graduated from New York Medical College; my cousin Julie Ann graduated from Albert Einstein School of Medicine. My mother was a nurse, who went on to medical school (fulfilling her childhood dream, she would carry my Uncle Frank’s black bag everywhere as a toddler) where she met my father. My brother is a physician and even my two little nephews love to wear their stethoscopes and play doctor.
I was born in Brooklyn, New York, where my father was doing his residency. I grew up in New Hartford, New York, a small upstate town where my father practiced obstetrics and gynecology for over 35 years. I am the oldest of 4, having 2 brothers and a sister. I grew up in a very loving Italian-Jewish household. The two things that matter the most to me are my family and my patients.
My mother said that I wanted to be a doctor from the time I could talk. I followed my father around everywhere. I wrote a paper on what I wanted to be in grade school- yes, you guessed it, a doctor. My siblings and I dressed up as doctors and a nurse and operated on our Cabbage Patch dolls. We grew up talking medicine at the dinner table. The phone would ring with a patient calling and we were all there listening and learning.
My brother and I learned to tie our first sutures at the kitchen table with my Dad instructing us on all the right techniques. I was able to make rounds in the hospital and watch my father operate when I was in high school. My best friend, Mindy and I worked in his office filing charts during the summers. My father was my role model. I learned how to be compassionate and care about patients from him and that a patient was more than just a number. I hope that I always carry that love and respect for my patients that I learned from my father throughout my years in practice.
Now for some fun facts:
- I started piano lessons at age 4 and I love the piano- Billy Joel is the man!
- I was born an avid Phillies fan and Eagles fan (my Dad was from Philadelphia), on occasion when pushed, I support the New York Mets to make my mother (a groupie in her youth) happy
- I played junior varsity football at The University of Pennsylvania
- I was on the crew team at The University of Pennsylvania and I still love to kayak and to row
- My mother is an avid cook and has a food page on Facebook called Foodfanataholics – she taught me to make a mean chicken soup, Italian Struffoli, a strawberry shortcake, and I can make pizza with the best of them
- I was an intern at the Masonic Home Research Laboratory when I was in college under one of the best cardiology mentors in the world, Dr. Charles Antzelevitch
- I loved living in Baltimore and my experience at Johns Hopkins, especially eating crabs…
- I was chosen as the best teaching resident when I was at Johns Hopkins, an honor that was so meaningful to me as it was awarded by my peers
- I love to fish
- I love to travel; we have family in Italy, and I love traveling there. I minored in Italian in College
- I am honored to be the Medical Director of Compassionate Hands and Hearts an incredible group that assists Breast Cancer patients by taking care of all their other non-medical needs
- I volunteered with a group of my fellow residents at Johns Hopkins through Changing Children’s Lives. We went to Vietnam to operate on children with plastic surgery issues such as cleft palates and facial deformities. It was such an incredible and rewarding experience. My Dad who is now retired, did two missions volunteering in Iraq to teach OB/GYN through GSMSG.org. I guess our sense of duty runs in the family
- When I graduated from medical school, my father gave me my hood (part of the ceremony). When my brother David graduated from the same medical school, both my father and I got to give him his hood – such a proud moment in our lives, especially for my father to see both of us follow in his footsteps
- I love to wakeboard and surf and enjoy living in central Florida where my family and I enjoy lake living
- I have visitation rights with my dog, Harley, who would rather stay at my parents (and eat my mother’s table scraps) with his sister Cannoli…
- I have 4 nephews, one of whom is my godson, and he is on his way to becoming the next generation of Feiner doctors. Our newest family edition, my niece Katherine Grace is my goddaughter.
- As you can see, my family is what matters to me…
- I love the fact that in private practice I can go back and practice medicine the way it should be practiced- honestly, with integrity, and with the patients’ best interests at heart and not under the bureaucracy of institutional medicine. Sometimes, you have to be your own hero!
- Life is good…