real doctors, real people - Dr. Maria Ferris

Photojournalist Nathan Clendenin introduces his video profile of Dr. Maria Ferris, a kidney disease specialist who also has quite a flair for making beautiful wedding cakes.

real doctors, real people - Dr. Maria Ferris click to enlarge Dr. Maria Ferris

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2010

There's something about Dr. Maria Ferris, this month's real doctor who directs the kidney dialysis and transplant programs at UNC and is the founder of the health care transition program as well.

Maybe it's her warm personality, her love for her patients, or her warm interactions with her residents, nursing staff and other colleagues.  Whatever it is, it made working with Dr. Ferris a pleasure and a real joy.  It's no surprise that for her, making beautiful wedding cakes is more about doing something special for somebody she cares about than anything else.

Through working with Dr. Ferris on this video I also got to meet her wonderful family, and enjoy an authentic Mexican meal. As she would say, "It's not Tex-Mex, it's Mex-Mex!"  My step-mother and step-siblings are all Mexican and so I felt right at home being with this family, and they were so open and excited to have me - this guy with a huge camera up in their business!

You don't have to spend a whole day with Dr. Ferris to observe her passion for teaching.  I saw her repeatedly stop what she was doing because a teaching moment came up and she seized it, with grace.  Of course if you did spend a whole day with her, like I did, you'd be thoroughly worn out because this woman is on the move from 5am to late at night.  And when she's not at the hospital, you might find her at the farmer's market buying local ingredients for an all-day cooking session with her family, or at a garage sale hunting for deals on kitchen appliances.

I hope you enjoy this month's installment of real doctors, real people and check back next month for more.

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