Why I Volunteer: Margot Wheeler, MD

WheelerI first worked in a community health setting while in medical school at Dartmouth, bringing educational programs into the local schools. Then in 1999, after settling in Arlington with my family, I began volunteering at Arlington Free Clinic. My prior Internal Medicine practice was in the Navy and in academic medicine, but I was always drawn to the idea of giving back in my own county. Knowing that there was a significant underserved community in Arlington, I chose to volunteer in Primary Care at AFC.

Once a month, I see Internal Medicine patients with everything from minor injuries to life-threatening heart disease and diabetes. While I provide primary care services to our patients, I know that through the Clinic’s partnerships with the local hospital and a multitude of specialists, those with complex needs like renal failure can receive kidney dialysis or those who have advanced cancer can access life-saving chemotherapy. Not only am I able to provide comprehensive care through AFC, but I can also maintain continuity-of-care, having seen some patients regularly now for years.

Our patients bring with them the challenges of physical labor, family separation, and financial stressors. Caring for patients in this environment is both challenging and immensely rewarding. The other great part of working at Arlington Free Clinic is the tremendous support from the other staff and volunteers. Our team goes above and beyond to provide top-quality healthcare. It is an honor to work with such a dedicated team toward our common goal of delivering compassionate and comprehensive care. It has been my privilege to volunteer at Arlington Free Clinic for the past 19 years.

Margot Wheeler, MD
Volunteer Medical Provider

Read our entire 2018 Annual Report here.

Patient Story: Gabriel & Diego—Brotherly Love
Message from our Medical Director: Caring For Very Seriously Ill Patients
Message from our President: What Our Dental Expansion Will Mean
AFC Highlights, July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018
Donor Profile: “Lyfting” barriers to care
Practice Spotlight: Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group Cardiology
Message from our Board Chair