Hal B Woodall Interview Essay

An Interview with Hal B. Woodall, MD
Going in to this interview, I was not certain what to expect at all. I had prepared a few questions and anticipated it lasting maybe ten to fifteen minutes at the most. However, my mental image of the interview did not remotely match up to what actually occurred. My interviewee was Dr. Hal B. Woodall, a medical doctor who owns Kenly Medical Associates, his private practice, but also comes in to the Wilson Medical Center to closely follow along with his patients, although he is not employed by, paid, or charged by the hospital for his services there. He has owned this practice and followed this routine for the past 38 years, ever since he completed his residency and internship at what is now known as Virginia…

I wanted to explore his motivations for becoming a doctor, much less a medical doctor in the first place. What he had to say did not take me by surprise in the slightest. Something that I was not totally aware of, and I doubt many people of my younger generation are knowledgeable of either, is the fact that politics and business have played an increasingly intervening role in the field of medicine and had quite a profound effect on it, even in the past decade. Dr. Woodall explained this evolution over time in the context of his desire to become a doctor. As he was growing up, during the fifties and sixties, medical doctors were held in the highest regard as some of the most learned, respected, and refined individuals in the country. Today, according to Dr. Woodall, the political intervention from Medicare and governmental medical programs, as well as the intervention of the business aspect from insurance companies, has tarnished that image (Woodall). But at the time he was deciding to be a doctor, none of that was an issue. This image of being highly esteemed and salaried was certainly appealing to Dr. Woodall, and he jumped on the opportunity. He also stated that another important factor that led to his desire to be a doctor was the passion that he had for people (Woodall). He loved working with others, and even went so far as to state that some of his most petulant and ill-mannered patients ended up being some of his favorites over the…