Harlem Word: Dr. Richard Younge

Dr. Richard Younge is a family physician at the Herman "Denny" Farrell, Jr., Community Health Center in Washington Heights where he treats patients of all ages and backgrounds.(

Q: What brought you to family medicine?

A: When I was in college I spent a summer working with a family physician in a community health center in Jasper, South Carolina. This experience opened my eyes to the connection between medicine and health in everybody's daily life. The health center that I was at did some important work on housing, plumbing, environmental issues and jobs development in the community. It really helped me realize that health is much more than just medical care. Disease prevention has to consider where people live, what they eat and what kind of work they do.

Q: What's your advice for young people considering a career in medicine?

A: Concentrate on the hard sciences-so much of medical school and pre-med is biology, chemistry, and mathematics. These are really important and yet they aren't always emphasized in our public schools. I try to encourage kids to get excited about science and math.

Q: What is different about a family clinic?

A: The clinic where I work is one of several primary care practices that Columbia Presbyterian Hospital sponsors. With a focus on family practice we have a varied team of specialists. We see patients of all ages from 0 to 99. On a day when I'm seeing patients, I could see a newborn baby and right after that an elderly person in their 80s or 90s. Family practice is the specialty that takes care of whole range medical conditions, ages and both sexes.

Q: What is the philosophy of your practice?

A: I think it goes back to the philosophy that brought me into family medicine in the first place-which is to take a very holistic way of thinking about patients that isn't limited to age. It's very important to see a patient as a whole person. Family medicine doesn't limit itself to any disease process or organ-so a family physician considers things like a patient's community and family in making a holistic assessment and then in providing care.

Read more from Dr. Younge by clicking the links below:

Harlem Word is a series of interviews with Northern Manhattan health experts, written by HHPC and reviewed by our Health Advisory Board.
Leave a Comment
Please sign in or join now to comment. Get involved!