Born, raised and educated in Ireland, William Duggan, MD, believes in the value of knowing and treating families – including infants, children, adolescents, and adults of all ages – for a lifetime.
“In Ireland, a primary care doctor is like part of your family,” says Dr. Duggan. “Long-term, personal relationships with every member of a family are the key to providing care that may prevent chronic illness. Naturally, I treat issues as they occur, but prevention, whenever possible, is always better.”
From Soccer to Medicine to America
Dr. Duggan describes himself as the kid who always knew he wanted to be a doctor, but no one in his family had gone to college before. Plus, his skills and passion for soccer were opening doors to play the game professionally in England.
“Until,” he says, “an injury ended that dream. Instead, my mom, who had always wanted me to be educated, got her wish.”
Dr. Duggan was accepted by the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland at age 17 for a six-year program in medicine. Afterwards, he emigrated to the United States for a microsurgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. During this fellowship, he realized surgery wasn’t the kind of medicine he wanted to practice.
“I like to interact a lot with my patients,” he says. “You really can’t do that when they are sedated and on the operating table.”
Instead, Dr. Duggan accepted a Cleveland Clinic family medicine residency and also acted as a “shadow” fellow in sports medicine, working with physicians for the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as area college athletes. Upon completion of his fellowship, he moved to Annapolis, MD., working for three years in a family medicine practice, serving as the youngest hospice medical director in the history Calvert County, and even playing soccer with the semi-professional Baltimore Kickers.
When he and his wife – a Wadsworth, Ohio, native and Kent State University soccer player – wanted to have children, they decided moving close to family was a priority. Dr. Duggan joined Mercy Primary Care Physicians in 2015 in practice with Leonard Tamburro, D.O., in North Canton.
Making Family Medicine Relational Again
Dr. Duggan emphasizes openness and accessibility in his practice and views the doctor-patient as a collaborative agreement or a cooperative plan.
“It’s easy to become disease focused in medicine, but people are defined by more than just their health conditions,” says Dr. Duggan. “Yes, I know how to treat illness, but I am a gateway to health information. I like to discuss that information with my patients. Primary care has drifted away from what it used to be, and I want to help make it relational again.”