Married to medicine

Tips for spouses and partners of osteopathic physicians

Linda Kazen Garza, AAOA president, shares a few key insights gleaned from her decades-long marriage to a DO.

Linda Kazen Garza has been advocating for osteopathic medicine for the past 30 years. She first joined the Advocates for the AOA (AAOA) when her husband, David Garza, DO, was in medical school. This year she’s serving as the organization’s president.

The AAOA provides a framework for spouses, partners, colleagues, and friends of osteopathic physicians to come together to promote the profession and support one another. In her own career, Linda Garza has seen firsthand the importance of advocating for osteopathic medicine. For more than 23 years, she’s been the office administrator for her husband’s family medicine practice in Laredo, Texas. Following is an edited Q&A.

You help manage your husband’s practice. How do both of you balance work and your personal lives?

One of the things we’ve learned a long time ago was not to bring it home. Not to bring home the problems of the patients, not to bring home personnel problems. It’s still a work in progress after 23 years, but if you are going to work with your spouse, you are going to have to learn that technique. Working together is an art. Most people can’t work with their spouses all day.

What are your goals for this year as the 2016-2017 AAOA president?

My themes for this year are foundation, innovation, and rejuvenation. I chose these because as advocates, we are the foundation for our osteopathic physician spouses, partners and friends. As demographics have changed, the AAOA continues to evolve to better support individuals from various backgrounds.

So the AAOA champions osteopathic medicine and also provides spouses and partners in the osteopathic family with a built-in network.

That’s right. Spouses provide support to their osteopathic physician partners, and the Advocates are also a vast network of individuals that support and help one another.

What do you like most about working with this organization?

I love working with the Advocates because I have made lifelong friends over my 30-year career of involvement. I’ve learned about life in different states, and other Advocates have learned about Texas. We are a support base for one another because only we know what it’s like to be married to or partnered with an osteopathic physician.

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