As a child, Mark Kimpton, MD, ACBC listened to his grandfather’s stories about his experiences as a medical corpsman in the Navy during WW II. They inspired his interest in medicine, and the desire to become a physician. Dr. Kimpton’s career began as a combat medic in 1983 and led to medical school at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), where he is now an Assistance Professor of Clinical Medicine. While in private practice as a family physician, Dr. Kimpton became interested in holistic medicine and how the mind and body are integrally connected.
Dr. Kimpton decided to incorporate this approach to become a better physician for his patients and earned a certification as an ACBC counselor (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). “I was always interested in studying the connection of the spirit and emotions as part of physical health. It took shape by pursuing my medical degree, but I wanted to go deeper by learning about emotional health. I believe that the body can be compared to a car—if you physically run out of gas or have a flat tire, a physician can diagnose that, try to fill the tank and fix the flat—but what are the underlying problems, and what can make the car more efficient? That’s the role of counseling. The body can operate more optimally when the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met.”
His philosophy to support physical health
Dr. Kimpton believes making the connection between mind/body health provides improved outcomes for his patients. “A lot of the physical ailments we see in private practice have a psychological and emotional component. I saw a lot of anxiety and depression in my patients, and I wanted more training to assist them.” There needs to be a holistic approach to health—we are not just physical creatures; we have emotional and spiritual needs as well. I’d like to bring that knowledge to mentor students at RUSM dealing with the stresses of medical school.”
Building medical careers with teaching
After serving in Family Medicine private practice for over twenty years, Dr. Kimpton looks forward to teaching medical students again. “I have a passion to teach and have been involved throughout my career training medical students, nurse practitioners, and physicians’ assistants as a family practice physician. I was excited to have the opportunity to return to RUSM, where my wife and I met. When our daughter was out of the nest, we jumped at the chance to come back.”
He will serve as an instructor in the Department of Clinical Medicine, teaching interview skills, physical exam skills, and simulation courses. His role will include instruction in the Enhanced Standardized Patients program as well as the Advanced Individual Interview Skills program. “Students need to learn the ‘bricks and mortar’ of medicine, but they also need to learn the skills to build something with the raw materials of the basic sciences and apply them in a clinical setting. I’ll help students learn how to use that knowledge with patients, but also learn what is needed to build a career as a physician.”
Helping patients the world over
Since 1999, his medical career has afforded opportunities to serve as a physician all over the world. “I’ve been able to minister to people’s physical and emotional needs through volunteer mission work in places like Benin, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Appalachia. I was able to use medicine as a tool to help people from all walks of life who are hurting. In addition to my work as a doctor, my knowledge in Counseling has allowed me to work with people who might be dealing with their worst days and offer hope amid dire circumstances. My patients help me, as well. We walk through this journey together.”
In the last year and a half, Dr. Kimpton dealt with the challenge of COVID-19 in his medical practice by developing a triage clinic to deal with several hundred patients with coronavirus while maintaining care inside his family practice in North Carolina.
Dr. Kimpton has one married daughter and several foster children that the family has cared for over the years. Now in Barbados, he is accompanied by his wife Audre, who is also an RUSM graduate and former instructor.
Teaching students how to reach their dreams
Ultimately, Dr. Kimpton wants to motivate students who encounter academic difficulties. “As an undergraduate I was not as disciplined as I needed to be. I thought my hope of attending medical school might be lost. Despite this, I was determined to pursue becoming a doctor. I learned to have a mindset of grit, determination, and ingenuity at RUSM. Successful students need to be flexible, focus on what’s ahead, and look past obstacles. I know what it takes to help students get there. RUSM is a golden opportunity to make the dream of practicing medicine come true.”
Focused on motivating others, he finds teaching medicine to students at RUSM inspirational. “As a physician, I could help the people I saw in my office. When you can teach students how to help people, you extend that by multiples. I’m excited to teach the next generation of doctors.”