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Deborah Spring, MD grew up in Nanticoke during historic times. The year she graduated high school, the Vietnam War was still raging and the 1970 deaths of four students at Kent State University was creating unrest on American campuses. Yet the event of the early 1970s that most influenced Dr. Spring was the 1972 Agnes flood. “My parents encouraged me to remain locally for my education. They thought things were much too volatile on campuses, so I was enrolled in Wilkes College (now Wilkes University). During Agnes, the entire college campus was under water, so my entry into college was delayed a few weeks,” she said.

A high school science standout, Dr. Spring had been accepted as a member of the first class of a unique program between Wilkes and Hahnemann Medical College. It was a special six-year program that entailed two years at Wilkes and four at Hahnemann and would result in both a bachelor’s and a medical degree. “I started medical school when I was 19,” Dr. Spring said. “I was young and naïve, but determined.” The program was an early effort to address the physician shortage the medical community knew was looming. “Everything has come full circle,” Dr. Spring said. “The shortage is upon us, but now we have Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.”

Dr. Spring enjoyed every medical rotation at Hahnemann, but when the time came she fulfilled the hopes of the joint educational program by choosing family medicine. “It’s been so rewarding,” she said. “I’ve done everything. I’ve delivered babies and sat with my patients in their final moments. I’ve enjoyed the ultimate trust – patients allowing me to be a part of their lives.”

The fact that Dr. Spring loves the wide arc of family medicine is evidenced by her two certificates of added qualification in geriatrics and adolescent medicine.

Dr. Spring said she has always had a love of teaching. “I’ve been involved in teaching since my own residency,” she said. “I enjoy the medical students and I like to involve them in my patient care. I find that my patients welcome them and feel they are contributing to the students’ education; and the community as a whole is so proud of Geisinger Commonwealth. I also participate in a first-year Geisinger Commonwealth class as a clinical facilitator in the Patient-Centered Medicine course where students are introduced to standardized patients. It’s rewarding to watch the first-year students go from that awkward initial patient encounter to confidently and succinctly presenting cases. My goal is to teach them to treat patients the way I want them to take care of me one day.”
Deborah Spring