Last Updated: Sep 17, 2018
To Valerie Vilbert, DO, family medicine means letting her patients tell their stories, helping them through rough patches, and encouraging life-long healthy habits.
But, to this family physician from Exton, Pa., “family medicine” can also take on a literal meaning.
Dr. Vilbert completed her medical training one year after her mother, Linda Vilbert, DO, who went to medical school after raising four children and serving for years as a nurse practitioner.
In 2015, both Dr. Vilberts realized their dream of practicing medicine together at Exton Family Medicine, part of Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists Association.
Linda was drawn to pursue a medical education after her oldest son, Eric, was accepted into medical school. Her time spent as a CRNP fostered a love of primary care. She liked how the specialty allowed her to build relationships with patients. She was excited to be accepted to PCOM to follow her dream.
Valerie followed her mom to PCOM a year later. They lived together near the school’s Philadelphia campus during the week and commuted home to the suburbs on weekends to spend time with family.
While they pulled one another through the challenging times all students face in medical school, they say they collaborate even more now while in practice. (removed quote)
Because Linda got married and started a family at an early age, she says she didn’t consider medical school as an option earlier in her career. While still not the norm, Linda says being a non-traditional student in medical school seems to be less of a novelty – and points to a number of older students in her class at PCOM as examples.
Valerie says she’s grateful that her mother’s encouragement and example led her into medicine.
“Growing up, I’d see the joy my Mom experienced from her work,” Valerie says. “It was always something in the back of my mind as I was going to college.
“We feel privileged to serve our community as family physicians. Family medicine encompasses a wide scope of patient concerns and health issues. Our goal is to promote wellness, provide health care and build relationships with our patients throughout their life.”