I’m Emily Polis Gibson, a wife, mother, farmer and family physician, living the rural life in northwest Washington state. I’ve been chronicling life on the farm, in the barn and in the exam room for over a decade, though my emphasis is on raising our family in faithful stewardship to our God and to the land we call home for the time being.
This blog is a mix of stories, personal essays, memoir, poetry, reflections, and meditations along with my own photos, many of which have now been published elsewhere, including numerous stories in Country Magazine by Reiman Publications/Readers Digest in addition to regular contributions to KevinMD.com, aholyexperience.com, www.patheos.com and her.menuetics. Most recently, one of my essays was published in The Jane Effect, a book celebrating Jane Goodall and I have a poem published in a literary guide for Lent, Between Midnight and Dawn edited by Sara Arthur.
I am a member of the Redbud Writers Guild.
To contact me for permission to use any material on this blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
After growing up on a small dairy and beef farm in Washington State, I left for Stanford University, where I found my new home in the Program in Human Biology, researching animal behavior with an eventual goal to do field studies. I headed off to Tanzania in spring 1975 to study wild chimpanzees at Gombe, under the supervision of Dr. Jane Goodall. I was specifically studying mother/infant and weaning behavior.
The May 19th kidnapping of 4 fellow students and researchers by Zairean rebels ended that era of research at Gombe. The students were eventually returned to safety after their harrowing ordeal.
Having worked my way through college as a nurses’ aide in rest homes, I applied to the University of Washington School of Medicine, graduating in 1980 and going on to Family Medicine Residency training at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle. Group Health was one of the original consumer run Health Maintenance Organizations with a strong emphasis in primary care and prevention. I remained in practice at Group Health in an inner city clinic for two years following my residency, but then married Dan, a farm boy transplanted to the city, so we eventually made the move to Whatcom County to raise our children on our farm. I have practiced primary care in a variety of settings: in private practice, as a consultant for child abuse evaluations and as attending physician for community clinics, with over twenty years of chemical dependency work supervising medical detox. My primary position since 1989 has been as medical director for the Student Health Center at Western Washington University, caring for thousands of college students during a time of great transition and transformation in their lives.
Our three children are grown and flown, off to families and adventures of their own, living lives of service in various parts of the world. Dan and I remain working in nearby Bellingham and at home on our farm, attending Wiser Lake Chapel, a local community church where we have found our extended family of faith.