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Six Questions with Dr. Adam Ailabouni, Family Medicine physician

Six Questions with Dr. Adam Ailabouni, Family Medicine physician

First job? I was a basket boy at the Farmington pool across the street from my house. I was the guy who took your stuff to store in a basket while you swam. It was a short-lived job, and then I became a lifeguard. I liked being outside, and learning the skills to keep a safe environment.

Free time? I run every day. I enjoy reading and live music. My family likes adventure trips – we like to go camping, backpacking, skiing, mountain biking, canoeing. My main enjoyment is aviation. I got my pilot’s license 20 years ago; last year I bought a plane. If I have a day off and the weather is nice, that’s where I’m going to be. My family flies with me, my dad, and friends. I’m slowly going farther and farther; it’s awesome to enjoy the beauty of the landscape from the air. It’s interesting to see things from a different perspective.

Best part of your work? Getting to know people and hearing their stories. I like problem-solving, and getting to the bottom of things – helping people figure out stuff that sometimes has been bugging them for years. I tell patients and colleagues that the most important part of what we do is to listen to the stories patients tell.

Best advice? Listen to people. They’ll tell you what’s going on if you take the time to listen. A med school professor taught me that.

Why healthcare? I thought about the things that would bring me joy, and talked with my dad, who is a physician; he said he’d never do anything else. Early on, I trained as an engineer and thought about being a professional pilot, but I didn’t see myself enjoying doing those long term. I’d rather spend my time with people than in front of a computer.

If not healthcare, what would you be doing? There are a lot of interesting things out there. Maybe research; maybe flying airplanes. It would be cool to lead adventure trips – my son and I hiked a 14,000-ft. peak in Colorado last summer. But I wonder if I’d enjoy these activities as much if I was doing them as a job.