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At this doctor's office, you're family

A patient of Ingrid Bermudez isn't just a patient, they're family.

I'm very open-minded, I'm not afraid to try new things, I'm not afraid to hug, to listen, to take my time, said Bermudez, who runs Family Medicine of Mechanicville. "I do what family medicine is supposed to be doing getting to know the whole family. That's what makes the difference."

Bermudez's approach to family medicine has not gone unnoticed. She was recently one of only a handful of physicians across the nation (and the only one from New York state) to be honored by the American Academy of Family Physicians and presented with a 2011 Pfizer Teacher Development Award for her dedication to her practice and part-time teaching of family medicine with the Ellis Family Medicine Residency Program.

"Pfizer Teacher Development Awards spotlight the best of our profession: those in active practice who give of themselves to teach, mentor and inspire residents and students. Tomorrow's family doctors and their patients will be better because of their efforts," said Richard G. Roberts, MD, JD, AAFP Foundation President. "My congratulations to Dr. Bermudez and my thanks to Pfizer for preserving the noble tradition of the clinician-teacher."

Bermudez doesn't think her practice is particularly extraordinary because in her eyes, she's just practicing medicine the way it should be practiced. That mindset is why she didn't fully realize she was even a candidate for this Pfizer award.

"I just did it, just in case, but I didn't think it would happen," said Bermudez. "I was in disbelief when I found out It's great for me, great for my patients. You can imagine the response. I've been getting flowers, calls, people say they're so proud."

The way Bermudez arrived in the medical field played a large part in her approach to care. She grew up in Colombia where the medical world is different.

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