Arriving for UVM undergraduate studies from New York’s North Country, Parkhurst quickly found the Green Mountains a place he could put down roots, and he eagerly returned after medical school in Buffalo.
“I just fell in love with Vermont,” he said. “I’m an outdoorsy guy, so it was perfect for me. I see Camel’s Hump and it feels like I’m back home.”
An earlier career as registered nurse spurred his deeper interest in medicine and yielded a dual perspective that benefits patients and colleagues alike.
“It was my first career out of high school. It gave me immediate exposure and hands-on experience,” but he yearned to keep learning.
“I had a hunger for knowledge,” Parkhurst said. “I wanted to understand why I was hanging this antibiotic instead of that one. (Nursing) gave me a bedside manner that’s very unique; it makes me a better doctor. I’ve been there and understand what nurses are experiencing. We can learn from each other.”
The rapport he found so crucial to patient-provider relationships then hasn’t changed, and Parkhurst continues placing high value on knowing patients and families well.
“The more you know about a patient, the better,” he observed. “You never know what you’ll learn just by talking to a patient. I believe medicine is best practiced when there is a personal, engaging approach to each patient. From the moment of admission, I want patients and their families to feel secure, informed and empowered in the medical decision making process.”