Dr. Dan Muldoon, C'89
Daniel Muldoon feels strongly that being a doctor is more than just a profession. “I have always felt that I was called to help people,” he says. Recently, Dr. Muldoon, who has worked with a family practice for nearly 20 years, took that commitment one step further and helped established a free clinic for uninsured persons in rural Virginia. “It is very fulfilling,” he says of this work.
But before he could help others, Dr. Muldoon had to overcome his own obstacles first. He entered the Mount as a young man interested in the sciences. During a summer job with construction following his first year in college, he fell two stories and was instantly paralyzed from the waist down.
As he recovered, he took great comfort in the support of his family and friends and the Mount. “From early on after the accident, the Mount was really helpful. They followed my progress all through my recovery,” recalls Dr. Muldoon.
After taking off the fall semester and undergoing extensive physical therapy, he returned to a different campus. The Mount had made adjustments specifically for Muldoon’s return, widening doors and cutting away curbs. “This was even before the Americans with Disabilities Act had been instituted,” he explains. “It made a huge difference.”
By then he was ready to pursue a career as a doctor. “The Mount prepared me well for medical school,” he notes. He graduated with a degree in biology in 1989 and was accepted at Georgetown University Medical School. After completing medical school in 1995, he went on to focus on a family practice residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School, joining the Rappahannock Family Physicians in Fredericksburg, Va., in 1998.
As a result of his own injury he feels that he can relate to his patients in a “more empathetic and compassionate way.” And of choosing family medicine, “I wanted to work with children and adults and be able to take care of full families, multiple generations,” says Dr. Muldoon. “That probably comes from being one of eight children in my family.”
That desire to help entire families now includes working with those who do not have health insurance and do not receive healthcare. Dr. Muldoon joined together with the parochial vicar at his parish, Jerome Magat, S’02, to establish the free clinic in 2005.
“We felt there was a real need there,” he says.
It is work that has truly inspired him. “One of our first patients was a woman who had breast cancer,” he says. “We were able to arrange for her to have surgery and chemotherapy through volunteer physicians in the area. She’s doing very well.”
He adds, “I wouldn’t have thought coming out of high school or starting at the Mount, that my life would have evolved this way. Now, I can’t see myself anywhere else.”