Get to Know Us – Walter Medlin, MD, FACS
Get to Know Us – Walter Medlin, MD, FACS

Dr. Medlin

1. How did you become involved with the OAC?

I became involved through my surgical society, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). We all recognized that all of those with obesity need a common place to have support and a voice. I was a bit shy, but then as a heavy person, I realized my voice needed to be in it, too! Everyone has a story and a perspective. OAC is a welcoming community. So many of us are just plain lonely with this disease!

2. Have you personally dealt with obesity, and if so, how has it impacted your life?

Obesity has been a central challenge in my life since first grade, and always will be to some extent. As much as I truly hated it, I am shaped by that experience – and thankful for the lessons. Obesity definitely hindered my career (medicine is horribly discriminatory), and I have had crippling shame that I now realize was totally a waste of time. Even if weight comes back, I think that blame and shame cycle has been broken as much by OAC and mindfulness training as by surgery.

3. What is your favorite part about being a board member of the OAC? 

Just spending more time with WONDERFUL people in the organization – staff, board, regular members all inspire me! It is so fun to see everyone building momentum with the Convention, with the Web, with our advocacy. The enthusiasm and empowerment is infectious all around.

4. Why is the OAC valuable in advocating for obesity awareness? 

The OAC is essential because it gives voice to our diverse community – together we cannot be ignored.  OAC also lets us collaborate on our journeys – with successes and challenges. No one should feel alone.

5. What is one goal that you want to accomplish as a board member? 

Ending bias against people with obesity. All of our policy goals would follow from that – research, treatment, self-care challenges would be so much more achievable without the bias.

6. What is your favorite film?

A tie between two TV series!  “Red Dwarf “ is a BBC Sci-Fi comedy that you must watch! “The Wire” series from HBO is better than almost any movie.

7. What is your fondest memory from this past year?

25th anniversary trip to the Big Island in Hawaii. Great combo of relaxation and adventure (snorkel, zip line, volcano hike, surf!). This was not only fun, but an important bit of self-care. Most of us are missing opportunities to enjoy the big picture – time away puts it all in perspective.

8. If you could’ve had any career other than your current one, what would it have been?

Helicopter Pilot. I got my basic pilot license in college, but couldn’t see how to make it happen with non-perfect vision and weight. Since bariatric surgery, I am planning to get back on track, but it takes big time commitment.

9. What is your favorite place to vacation?

Cannon Beach, Oregon – We also hit mountains as much as possible, like Banff, Alberta Canada. I am a bit ADHD though – don’t like to sit long without a playtime pursuit.

10 What is your most prized possession?

Since our dog Dudley can’t really count as a “possession”,  the thing I really would NEVER want to live without is a backpack and good sturdy outdoor exercise clothes/shoes!  Fun is sure to follow somehow!  Dress for success indeed.

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Next Time…

Join us next time as we feature Lisa Gresco-White, OAC Administrative and Membership Services Coordinator!

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