“I’m here to see Dr. Dunn.”
Why? Because there are two – Michael and Avi, both doctors, man and wife.
The duo, certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, joined the clinic this month.
They share the same name and the same sparse office. He is 44, she will be 33 next month.
Neither wear lab coats.
Their disparate backgrounds are linked by a common denominator: love of medicine.
Michael, for instance, was an aeronautical engineer for Lockheed for 15 years before entering medical school, helping design fighter planes, including the F-16, the F-22 and the F-35. Yet, he admits, “I always had a latent desire to be a doctor.”
Avi, born near Nazareth – she holds dual citizenship – served a compulsory three years with the Israeli military. “But I knew I wanted to be a doctor since I was 13,” she says.
Michael’s shift in career was sudden. “I was an aerospace engineer on a Friday and a medical student the next Monday.”
His decision mystified his colleagues. “I felt a little pigeonholed. I still had 30 years before I could retire. When I left they thought I was crazy – but they were envious at the same time.”
Her military service behind her, Avi joined her grandmother in Corpus Christi where she attended Del Mar College. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas and later worked as a research assistant.
In 2005, both Avi and Michael started medical school at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.
They met each other on the first day.
But a year later into their rural track studies, they both went to Pueblo, Mexico, on a mission sponsored by their Christian Medical Association.
“I asked her for a date,” Michael says.
“I said, ‘No thanks,’” Avi recalls.
Two years later, during a two-week med-school hiatus, they married.
During their studies, Avi decided she wanted to specialize in ob-gyn.
Michael told her, “You’ll soon grow tired of that.”
Instead, he suggested family medicine.
“If you do that, you can do both.”
The couple spent an eight-week residency in Corpus Christi. The next year, they spent their residency at the family practice in Beeville.
“I stayed for a month, then Avi stayed for a month,” Michael says.
The couple found the family practice practically perfect.
“We treat adults, children, mothers, newborns and seniors. It’s exciting, and the hospital is right across the street,” Michael points out.
Last year, Dr. Joe Larakers asked the couple to join the practice.
“And, it appears we brought the rains to Beeville,” Michael grins.
He was stymied when asked if his aeronautical engineering background influenced the way he practiced medicine.
“I don’t know,” he paused, looking at Avi.
“He’s very rational,” she said.
Gathering his thoughts, Michael said, “I’m more apt to question the why of things.”
“Our plans pretty much end here.”
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.