J. William Kerns

William (Bill) Kerns was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, where he attended public high school during a transitional era; hisIowa-born wife Christina jokes that she couldn't get him across the Mason-Dixon Line. The truth is more that after graduating from Yale with honors in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, he welcomed being closer to home at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville for what he thought was going to be a research-oriented MD­ PhD. Instead, he found that a life of libraries and labs did not suit him. He also discovered that his affinity for people was helpful in medicine. He ran away from research to Family Medicine Residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Christine, a nurse, and he were considering mission work at home or abroad, but found that the need was significant in small-town Virginia as well. So, with one secretary and a line of credit, they started a practice in 1978, expecting to be slack for a time. It has never stopped being busy, and they were extremely happy to see Dr. Westfall and then other fine physicians and Nurse Practitioners join the practice in the years following. For a number of years, Dr Kerns and Dr Westfall were the only Family Physicians in the county and in the hospital, resurrecting the specialty here. After several successful and intense clinical years, the opportunity to help found the Residency came along, and with his partners he pursued a Fellowship in Adult Learning from the Department of Family Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University (now Clinical Professor).In the new residency he took on the Evidence-Based Medicine and Information Mastery Curriculum. He has continued to practice full-spectrum Family Medicine, including hospital/ICU and Obstetrics. Then a weird thing happened; research came back into his life through VCU's Department of Family Medicine, where he has partnered with their wonderful team in primary care research, making a difference to people.

He and Dr. Ball, in the Community Medicine curriculum, produce scholarly works with the residents in their second and third years, with the object of helping people in the practice and in the community directly, via scholarship. With Dr. Winter he is engaged in ongoing grants and research projects directly related to primary care practice. He regularly presents at national and international primary care research meetings.

Christine and he have two grown children, two granddaughters (Tallulah Femke Lake and Paloma Jolene Lake), and two dogs. Besides just enjoying living out in the county of Warren, walking the dogs, snorkeling (a trip to blue water regularly!) etc., Dr. Kerns enjoys being ornery, good scotch and wine, and aging his spirits as well.

Dr. Kerns received the STFM 2009 Mid-Career Achievement Award, he participated in the 2009 STFM Best Research Paper with the VCU FM Research team, and in 2010 was named Family Physician of the Year by the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians.

Authorship and News Mentions

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