Physician Balances Family And Profession.

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Doctor Amalia Pineres could have been conferred as a Fellow, by the American Academy of Family Physicians, at the turn of the millennium.

She chose to spend the time, of the always October conference, with her family.

"The award is given in hunting season," she said.

In 2007, her husband did not draw a tag, so they took their son, and went to visit the grandparents. On the way, Pineres stopped in Chicago to receive her award.

The award is based partially on continuing medical education, participation in public service programs, and original research.

The balance of home and full-time profession, for the woman who "always" planned to be a doctor, is a challenge she faces with cheerfulness.

"Women are better, with a lot of exceptions, at making that balance work. That is why you see doctors working part-time or not doing hospital work anymore. I think a lot of dads would like to make that balance," she said.

Pineres grew up in Illinois with her eight siblings and watched her father practice medicine.

"He was a really traditional doctor who worked like a slave," she said.

She does not recall many books in the house, except the encyclopedia where she read all she could about science.

"And, I was always looking at Dad's medical magazines -- sometimes they would gross me out," she said.

The summer before her senior year of high school, the family moved to Globe.

The transition from a sprawling, 4,000 student Midwest high school to a small rural high school, where something like 20 of the 80 students had dropped out because they were pregnant, was a culture shock, she said.

Young Amalia was not a happy camper at first, then, she learned to hunt, fish and ride horses, all skills she would not have otherwise.

Pineres attended medical school at the University of Illinois. She graduated in 1989, finished her residency in 1992. She and husband, John Hughes, returned to Globe.

"Family practice is one of the specialties you can sub-specialize with in the field," she said.

Many of the babies she delivered were still her patients when she left Globe, 13 years later.

When Pineres became a mother, she shifted her focus on her son, John, and shifted her practice to a more regular family practice and internal medicine, so she was not on-call 24/7.

When I was first starting to practice, I was a lot less patient than I am now, she said.

From her own family doctor, she learned that slowing down was a good thing.

Along the way, she decided negotiation with patients is good.

"You have to give patients the information, then, if they decide they don't the wrestling team don't want to take the lipid lowering agent that would reduce their risk of heart attack by 30 percent, at least they know the risk," she said.

Pineres is content in a profession she "loves."

"I am continually learning. It is never boring," she said.

Name: Amalia Dolores Pineres

Occupation: family physician

When did you move to Payson / what brought you here?

"My family and I moved to Round Valley two-and-a-half years ago for a slower pace of life."

What is the biggest risk you have taken recently?

"We recently went on vacation to visit my husband's parents. Their property was overgrown and they are not able to take care of it. My husband handed me a chain saw and I used it for three days. It was my first time using a chain saw. I was watching TV later and saw the obnoxious death rate of professionals who use chain saw. I thought, maybe I shouldn't have done that, but, my in-laws were so appreciative of the work we did."

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given and by whom?

"Slow down."

Three things you want people to know about you:

"I am a big family person."

"I have a good sense of humor and I like to laugh. I love people who make me laugh."

"I will negotiate with my patients."

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? "A doctor. My father was a physician before me. I always wanted to heal things, to fix things. I was into it even as a kindergartner."

Favorites:

Book/author: "I read everything, but I like Nora Roberts' lovely, beautiful romances. We need more romance in the world."

Music: "I like to sing with the radio when I am alone. I love to sing at church -- it is the only time I can sing as loud as I want and my son and husband can't say anything about it.

Food: "So many foods, so little time. Right now, I am doing Weight Watchers. I lost 15 pounds!"

Sport: Bow hunting because it is more stealthy and there is more hiking involved, fishing.

Vacation spot: the beach.

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