University Health Center providers come from a huge variety of places, backgrounds, and fields of practice…but they’re all here for YOU. Dr. Woitalla is a Primary Care Provider in UHC’s Medical Clinic Green. Check out what he has to say about serving UGA students, self-care practices, and entering the medical field.
Dr. Finbar Woitalla joined the University Health Center team in January 2018. He previously practiced as a primary care physician at Baumholder Army Garrison, Germany, providing care for U.S. Army soldiers and their families from April 2015 – December 2017. Prior to that he worked at United Regional Physicians Group as a Sports Medicine/Non-operative orthopedics provider and as a primary care physician at Kell West Family Practice, both in Wichita Falls, TX. Dr. Woitalla loves spending time with his wife, two young boys, and German Shepherd. And he was kind enough to answer a few questions…
Q1: What brought you to the UGA Health Center?
After spending a few years in Germany providing care for American soldiers and their families, my wife and I decided to come back to be near her family in Atlanta. My wife is a UGA alumna and has always loved the University and Athens.
Q2: What is your favorite part about working with UGA students?
I love the diversity of the students as well as their varied interests. I feel it’s important to form a relationship with a patient, so I make it a point to ask about a patient’s studies or heritage. I’ve learned so much from the students!
Q3: What are the top things you hope your patients will know or do to take care of themselves?
One of the most common things we see is the stressed-out student.
I definitely understand wanting to do well in school (I was often in the study room on a Friday night at my college), but success actually requires you take care of yourself.
Many students will get minimal sleep, forgo exercise, and eat poor diets in an effort to spend more time on class work. They often end up getting overwhelmed emotionally or physically ill because their bodies can’t keep up that pace. Time management is crucial to avoid that mistake. For students who have difficulty with this, the UHC Health Promotion Department has wonderful health coaches who can really help students get control of a seemingly unmanageable situation.
Q4: What does your self-care look like (favorite hobby or way to relieve stress)?
Spending time with family, immersing myself in music (whether by listening or singing or playing), and being in nature are what recharge my battery.
Q5: What is your top piece of advice for students pursuing a medical career?
Make sure you talk to physicians, preferably in different specialties, to get a better understanding of what they do and if it is really something you want to pursue. Even better would be to volunteer at a practice or a hospital: you’ll gain valuable insight and build your resume.
The best way to get involved at the University Health Center is to join a student group! And keep up with @UGAhealthcenter on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for #HealthyDawg hints from our awesome team members like Dr. Woitalla!