Compassion Pediatrics & Urgent Care
ORLANDO - Kyle Bow is a primary care pediatrician and pediatric urgent care physician. He was trained well for those specialties at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and as a resident at Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
But Bow is quick to explain that talent and experience are only part of who he is.
“By avocation, I am a physician; that’s medicine. But by vocation, I am a servant,” said the 34-year-old who opened his practice, Compassion Pediatrics & Urgent Care in April 2013. “I was created to try to take care of people, and it didn’t matter if I did it by picking up a hammer and going to help Habitat for Humanity, or picking up a stethoscope … I was simply meant to serve. There is nothing I would rather do in this life than give of myself to others. That’s who I am,” said Bow, who has known he wanted to be a doctor since he was a sophomore at Morehead State University.
Practicing medicine with a mission is what drives Bow, who even named his practice as an acknowledgement of his Christian faith. “The term compassion did come from the Bible. Jesus did not just have sympathy or empathy, he had compassion. It was an emotion that drove him,” said Bow.
“God has allowed me to use medicine to heal people, but there is more to healing someone than giving them more years and making them feel better physically. There is an emotional aspect to it. It’s very important and it is coming out more and more these days just how important (the emotional component) is. Someday, the spiritual will come into it as well,” he said. “At times I get to focus on all three. Sometimes somebody just needs a little hope and they want you to just sit down and pray with them. I do not push my faith on any of my patients. But there are times when a mom may be breaking down a little bit and I can tell she needs a little love, and I will ask her if I can pray for her. No one has ever turned that down that offer,” he said.
Being in the start-up phase of his business, Bow acknowledged that he relies heavily on his faith. “Nobody ever told me how hard this was going to be. The only thing that gets me through my day is the strength of my faith,” he said.
Bow’s formula for success seems to be working. He already has 15 employees and is looking to expand more by the end of this year. Erin Frick, MD, a pediatric sports medicine subspecialist is leaving soon to accompany her husband, orthopedic surgeon Matthew Butterfield, to fellowship training at the Mayo Clinic. But Bow said he will be replacing Frick, with whom he trained at Arnold Palmer, with a general pediatrician – “hopefully one who speaks Spanish” – very soon. “And we hope to add a third provider by the end of this year, and then maybe an advanced registered nurse practitioner … We’re growing like crazy” he said.
Bow said he is putting in about 80 hours a week at his practice. That includes about 50 clinical hours and 30 hours of “administrative and other duties,” he said. “I mop the floor and do janitorial work, play with patients. Whatever is needed. Yesterday I was on the roof putting in new filters for the AC units. You name it, I’ll do it. I’m from Kentucky and this is what we do!” he laughed.
Helping to keep him focused is his mother Barbie, who also is his office manager. She and Bow’s father Tom, a retired engineer, created “a fairytale childhood” for he and his two older sisters in his native Pikeville, Ky., Bow said, and now his parents have a home in Daytona Beach. “Mom has no medical background, but she is a leader and she knows how to get things done. It has made a huge difference. … I simply could not have done this without her,” said an obviously grateful son. Does mom ever pull rank? “No. She recognizes that it’s my business. She lets me have my way, but she gives me encouragement and guidance,” as only a mother can, he said.
Another indispensable employee, Bow said, is Valen Eberhard, whose title is marketing director, but whose responsibilities are really more as a community outreach coordinator. “Valen is the heart of this practice. Our goal is to give back to this community, and she is making that happen,” he said, noting that she goes into schools, and organizes speaking engagements and health screenings, which helps him to place “a significant amount of our modest profits back into the community. That’s important.”
Bow also melds his profession with his faith as an educator. “I have about 25 students from (the University of Central Florida College of Medicine) who join me every Tuesday night in a Bible study with Dr. Brandon Carr,” a friend and emergency care pediatrician, said Bow, who also trains about 15 ARNPs who rotate through his office for 6-8 weeks every year.
At the end of his residency, Bow said he spent several weeks in Africa doing medical mission work. “I was in Malawi, South Africa and Kenya. I learned more about being a physician and healer in those weeks than I did in most years during my training,” he said, adding that he would like to do more of that humanitarian work, but perhaps closer to home.
“I am recognizing now is that there is a ministry like that to be done here in Orlando. We are in a very poor area of town and lot of people need our help. One of the ways we will try to do that is through the athletic facilities, partnering with the city to give kids something to be proud of. A nice ball field. A nice uniform. Get your mom to bring you out and watch you. Then maybe, just maybe, you begin to take some pride in it and find out you’re pretty good at it, and then you stick with it through high school or maybe even college. … We’re looking for ways to do that. It’s one more way to give back,” said Bow, who was a three-sport athlete in high school.
“All I want is for people to see a heart out there. I want them to be encouraged that we all can do this. We can all chase a dream and we all can make a difference. We just have to work doggone hard at it and recognize that there is a price that has to be paid for it,” said Bow.