Editorial | Albright College

Editorial

Editor’s Note

Last winter, I learned that my longtime family doctor, Tim Makatche, D.O. ’78, would be retiring after taking the time to acclimate two new doctors to his medical practice.

Immediately, I felt both excitement for him and a bit of dread for me. It can be difficult to find a good doctor. Yes, all doctors go through rigorous training. After completing undergraduate and medical school, they must pass a medical exam to earn a license to practice medicine. After that, they complete a residency or fellowship before taking a specialty certification exam. And of course, continuing medical education is ongoing. Talk about life-long learning!

Truly though, family doctors are a special breed. They are the trusted, first contact for health concerns of patients who range in age from newborns to seniors. But medical training alone does not make a great family doctor, and frankly, I’ve been spoiled over the last 25 years by Dr. Makatche.

Good family doctors take the time to get to know their patients. They ask great questions about social endeavors that might impact physical and mental health. Great family doctors actively listen to the answers. They consider the impact of health on a patient’s family and factor in their experience as it grows over time.

I can’t remember a single instance when Dr. Makatche entered my exam room without a smile. He nearly always brought up field hockey (a sport in which I’ve continued to play or coach since childhood) or asked questions about my husband (a patient of his since Makatche began practicing medicine). I never felt rushed in his office. And when the caller ID on my phone showed I was getting a call from his practice following a health scare, I was never surprised to hear his voice on the other end.

Like Makatche, great family doctors are compassionate and honest. If you’re lucky, they also have a great sense of humor (see page 30). This week as I met with my new doctor for the first time, I had the pleasure of catching Dr. Makatche enjoy his last day in the office. So congratulations to Tim — and special thanks to Tim’s wife, Karen ’77, for sharing your best friend with us all of these years. n

— Carey Manzolillo, MBA

The Last Word: By Patty Molnar ’69

Ever since I learned to read, I have had a profound appreciation for the written word. I realized early on the importance of being able to express myself in a cogent manner when writing.

I further pursued my interests in writing and studying literature and poetry when I enrolled at Albright College as an English major. My classes were engaging and challenging, and I enjoyed them tremendously.

While taking a class on Shakespeare, I was assigned to write a paper on the tragedy, “Coriolanus.” Feeling that I was up to the task, I wrote and submitted the paper, only to have the professor take issue with some of my work. I had used the phrase “reeking of rage,” to which he objected.

After thinking about it, I understood the validity of his opinion, and it’s something I never forgot.

I went on to have a successful career doing promotional work for the Houston Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra, positions that necessitated a great deal of writing. I took that professor’s criticism to heart, learned from it, and became a better writer as a result.

I still love to write and recently took some courses to refresh and improve my techniques. I’ve used my writing skills throughout life while working, volunteering, serving on boards, and simply keeping in touch with people.

More than 50 years after graduating from Albright College, I remain grateful to the professor who took an interest in me and my work and made me a better writer.

That early intervention from which I learned so much is one reason my husband, Attila, and I decided to fund a writing center that will be a part of Albright’s new library. I am extremely pleased and proud over the prospect of the Patty Parker Molnar Center for Writing Excellence — a resource that I am confident will inspire students, just as that Albright professor inspired me.

— Patty Molnar ’69 is a philanthropist, business woman,
community activist, board member and Albright College donor.