Dr. Mark Eric "Rick" Worshtil M.D. Inducted 1999 - Class of 1967
The individual who nominated Rick Worshtil to the Woodward Hall of Fame described him as "an all-around guy and a learned physician." Rick describes his life's work using three words: "I teach medicine." To what more valuable aspect of medicine can one dedicate their life? We honor that dedication tonight.
Rick attended north end schools Spring Elementary through grade 6 and Hamilton School in grades 7 and 8. His residence was an upstairs duplex in the 1300 block of Noble Street. "The neighborhood was multi-ethnic and multi-racial, where we all had poverty in common."
At Woodward, Rick participated in sports, music, and dramatics, while excelling in academics. His best friends were Jim Debth, Dick Knepper, Jim Maciewicz, Barbara Czyzewski and most of the Woodward band members. Rick's favorite high school memories revolve around the band and orchestra. "I would begin each day with orchestra from 8-9:30 a.m., where I played violin and later,
the oboe. My favorite part of the day was Band, from 11:30-1 p.m., where I was a saxophone player. It was not unusual for my friends and I to linger after school in the band room to rehearse with a dance band, The Benny Les Orchestra. Each year, I was involved with the Extrav ... both in the orchestra pit and on stage. I have never lost either my enthusiasm for real musical talent or my memories of my good friends in the band."
Rick truly believes that he was greatly influenced by excellent teachers at Woodward. It is not surprising that Rick recognizes former band directors Sam Szor and Keith Biler as favorite teachers. "They were tremendously energetic, creative, talented and eager to get the most out of everyone's varied abilities. And math teacher Belle Joseph was simply the best teacher I had at any level." Countless Hall of Fame inductees share Rick's sentiment with respect to Miss Joseph, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.
Rick expresses pride in the fact that he was valedictorian of his graduating class. "I also remember how excited I was to receive the Robert Rettig Scholarship prior to graduation and the gratifying response from my peers that the announcement generated."
After graduating in 1965, Rick put his scholarship money to good use as he embarked on the demanding academic program required of a physician. He obtained his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1969. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1973. Rick chose to remain in Pennsylvania for his medical training. He did his internship in Internal Medicine at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh and completed his residency in Family Practice in1976 at The Washington Hospital in Washington, Pennsylvania. He was Chief Resident in 1975-1976. He never left Washington, Pennsylvania, as he still resides there today.
Rick's professional experience is both extensive and varied. In his affiliation with the Washington Hospital, he has served as an attending physician at the Extended Care Facility (1977); Committee Member of the Utilization Review Committee(1983); Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program Physician (1985); Committee Member (1980-1986) and Chairman (1983-1986) of the Continuing Medical Education Committee; Occupational Medicine Physician (1984-1990); and Medical Director of the Washington County STD Clinic (1992-1993).
Currently Mark is the Assistant Director of the Family Practice Residency Program at The Washington Hospital and Clinical Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He has served in these capacities since 1976 and 1986, respectively.
Rick was also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Family Practice at the Medical College of Pennsylvania; Family Health Council Medical Director in Washington, Pennsylvania; Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee at The Washington Hospital, which he chairs; and Editor of the "Family Practice Newsletter" since 1985.
Rick's talents and experience are clearly directed towards teaching. "My main responsibilities as a faculty member at The Washington Hospital residency program consist of teaching medical students, interns and residents, how to be family doctors. Much of my time is spent lecturing to them, teaching them the skills necessary to perform a multitude of procedures and overseeing their care of both inpatients and outpatients. While I maintain a small medical practice of my own, it is the work in medical education that I find and have always found to be most rewarding and satisfying. That's what I have done for most of the past 22years."
Rick's licensure and certifications include Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examinators; Pennsylvania Medical Licensure; Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice; Recertifications by the American Board of Family Practice; and, Instructor of Basic Cardiac Life Support. His professional affiliations include the American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society, Washington County Medical Society, American Academy of Family Physicians and Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.
In addition to his daily teaching regimen, Rick has presented at various forums on "Colposcopy Curriculum", "Teaching Colposcopy to the Family Practice Resident", and "Hormone Replacement Therapy and the Menopause". His publications include "Diagnosis of Vascular Disease with Doppler Ultrasonography" In Family Practice Recertification; and, "Ulcerative Colitis" and "Cervical Polyps" in H. Winter Griffith's 5 Minute Consult.
Rick has remained "happily single" and currently shares his home with a 9-year old golden retriever named Zeke. "My hobbies are no different then they were in high school. I continue to play the baritone saxophone in a community wind ensemble and occasionally in a dance band. I continue to threaten to learn to play a little jazz piano." Although Rick's days as an athlete may be long gone, he remains addicted to television sports and is "somewhat optimistic that I can get my handicap on the golf course down to single digits." An anonymous source reports that Rick also has experience in coaching sports ... a nurses' basketball team.
Upon being notified that he was elected to the WHS Hall of Fame, Rick said he was extremely proud and honored. "But I couldn't help but to feel a twinge of sadness knowing that the most important and positive influences in my life, my parents, were no longer here to share in this recognition."
As a student, Rick demonstrated his abilities in sports, dramatics, music and academics. Today, as an honored Polar Bear, he is an example of how one can continue using those skills, resulting in a satisfying life dedicated to helping people and teaching others to do likewise. The cycle is complete, which is "music to our ears" and music to the ears of those he serves. Congratulations, Rick!