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Island doctor tells his tale in library talk

Nov 28, 2019
Dr. Chuck Radis

Rockland — Dr. Chuck Radis will present an illustrated talk on his forthcoming book, "Go By Boat," at the Rockland Public Library on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m. Doc Martin meets All Creatures Great and Small in this uniquely American true tale about an island physician.

Fresh out of training, Dr. Radis convinces his wife, Sandi, to move to Peaks Island to fulfill a public health scholarship obligation. Absent-minded and initially oblivious to island mores, Dr. Radis slowly adapts to a medical practice where x-rays and advanced laboratory testing are available only on the mainland. When he travels to the outer islands of Casco Bay for house calls, he relies on his physical examination skills and a Bass-Master tackle box filled with emergency medications to successfully manage his patients. In a career which spans island medicine to rheumatology, from public health work in a UN refugee settlement to advocacy for Medicare for all, Dr. Radis’ writings focus on the importance of empathy and kindness in patient care.

After completing an internal medicine residency, Dr. Radis moved with his family to Peaks Island, several miles off the coast of Portland. As a solo practitioner at the Island Health Center, he traveled by boat to the outer islands of Casco Bay, averaging more than 150 house calls each year.

Following his years as an island doctor, he was accepted for a fellowship in Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Pittsburgh. He returned to Portland, where he practiced for 22 years at Rheumatology Associates.

His writing reflects the breadth of his medical experience. His medical essays have been published in The Rheumatologist, and his scientific case studies in Arthritis and Rheumatism. He has been an invited speaker at the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Radis is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has been a clinical faculty member at Tufts Medical School and at the University of Vermont Medical School.

He has also volunteered extensively — teaching family practice residents at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital in southern India, developing public health projects in South Sudan, and partnering with the Maine Federations of Women’s Clubs at the Kiryandongo United Nations settlement in northern Uganda.

Dr. Radis was awarded the Louis Hanson DO, Maine Physician of the Year in 2015. He lives on Peaks Island with his wife, Sandra, just down the street from where his two children, Kate and Molly, attended the Peaks Island grade school.

The Rockland Public Library is located at 80 Union St. This event is free and open to the public.

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