HCPLive Network
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

OB/GYN Draws Passion from Focus on Humane Living

Ed Rabinowitz | Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Michael Foley, MD, was at a crossroad. It was his sophomore year in college, and he was torn between playing professional baseball or moving on to medical school. His future wife, whom he had known since he was 15, cast her vote for medical school. After much contemplation, Foley decided to follow her lead.
 
“I did so because I really wanted to offer those skill sets, and the fulfillment that one gets from caring for other people,” says Foley, who today is the academic chairman and program director for the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Arizona-based Banner Health, and a tae kwon do black belt instructor.
 
Any regrets? Foley laughs and says, “It’s more along the lines of thank goodness I decided to move in that direction.”
 
And the hundreds of people whose lives he has touched feel the same way.
 
Training the mind and body
Foley was a 7-year-old growing up in northern California when his brother, who would go on to become one of the first Navy Seals, brought him to a hand-to-hand combat training session. His status as an observer quickly changed when the instructor involved him in the training. And as a young person during the 1960s, the Bruce Lee era, Foley found himself drawn to the martial arts.
 
“It’s the narrative that most of us have about martial arts, you know, the punching and kicking,” Foley explains. “And then as I continued to train with a number of masters over the year, I’ve come to learn more and more that the true intent of the martial arts is about understanding and developing relationships within yourself, and with others and the environment.”
 
Foley says he learned that a peaceful resolution to conflict is the ultimate victory, thus avoiding the violent aspect of the training. The purpose of learning the physical aspect is to be able to feel comfortable and confident enough that you don’t have to defend your ego, and need only defend your wellbeing.
 
“There’s a big difference,” Foley says. “In society, people tend to tie wellbeing and ego together, and they get just as insulted by getting cut off in traffic as they do if someone put a gun to their head. They have the same fight-or-flight mechanism. The martial arts training over the years taught me to understand what a real threat is, and how to deal with it.”
 
Humane living
In the early 1990s, Foley and his family moved to Arizona, and he sought a martial arts school where his children—2 daughters and a son—could benefit from the training he has received. But all he found were the schools that advertised to the widely accepted narrative the public had about martial arts: competition, trophies, and championships. That wasn’t what Foley was looking for, so he took a different approach.
 
“I actually talked my wife into building a martial arts school in the basement of a guest house that we had here,” Foley recalls. “From then on I brought in patients, kids, nurses, and doctors. And I did it for free. I did it under a pay-it-forward model. So, if you train with me, then eventually you’re going to have to give back to the community the gift of training that I’m giving you.”
 


RELATED ARTICLES
While Wall Street is often viewed as the center of the investment universe, a far less exciting – but potentially more powerful – environment exists in the halls of academia. In this environment, professors at schools like Wharton, Yale, MIT, Stanford and the University of Chicago examine decades of financial data in search of patterns and explanatory variables.
Many investors are still shy from the drubbing they took in 2008 or feel that it's too late to get into the market now. That kind of scared thinking is going to cost them.
The 401(k) retirement accounts of many employees are going up in smoke due to excessive fees charged by their investment company. Unless this can be rectified through legislation, higher earners may end up paying for the shortfall later.
RECENT CLINICAL ARTICLES
As more studies have demonstrated potential therapeutic applications for marijuana, public opinion regarding medical and recreational marijuana use has shifted. One such study recently published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology revealed medical marijuana is potentially beneficial for digestive disorders and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Is one beta blocker better than another for patients born with long QT syndrome? In a report published Sept 23 in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology Abeer Abu-Zeitone, PhD, and colleagues found that in their study group, nadolol worked best at preventing a recurrent serious cardiac event and that propranolol, the oldest beta-blocker available, did the worst. The researchers also evaluated how patients had fared with atenolol and metoprolol. But in an editorial commenting on the findings, Arthur Wilde, MD, PhD, and Michael Ackerman MD, PhD, questioned the study’s methodology and predicted that many heart centers will continue to use propranolol.
The American College of Cardiologists (ACC) has had a change of heart. The group is now recommending doctors treating heart attack patients for arterial blockages should treat lesions in both cardiac arteries, not just the “culprit” artery that led to the MI. In a statement Sept. 22, the ACA cited new information—reported Sept. 5 by HCPLive.com—from a UK study showing that it pays to do the more extensive procedure.