Pediatrician Edward Wuchner, MD, is a kid magnet.
“He’s just great with younger children. He’s got a gift,” said his son, Mark. “My dad can get into kid mode and get right down to their level. It’s amazing to watch.”
Dr. Wuchner brought that talent to Scripps Clinic decades ago. For 30 years, he’s been a member of the medical group, practicing pediatrics in Rancho Bernardo – the community where he and his wife, a physical therapist, lived and raised three boys.
Over the years, Dr. Wuchner made a lasting impression on a lot of young people. Not surprisingly, his oldest son, Mark, was among them.
“Growing up, I saw the influence he had on kids my age,” said the now 36-year-old primary care provider. “They would say, ‘hey, your dad is my doctor.’ They thought he was such a cool guy.”
Edward Wuchner retired in February of 2009. Before he left, the pediatrician with a gift had a unique opportunity to work side-by-side with his oldest son.
In 2004, Mark Wuchner became a physician specializing in family medicine. He started practicing in Florida, where he met a nurse who eventually became his wife. One year later, he got a job at Scripps Clinic, providing care at the Rancho Bernardo location – right down the hall from his father. For a while, both Wuchners’ offices were on the same floor.
“We ate lunch together almost every day,” said Mark. “It was really nice to have him so close.”
For personal and professional reasons, the close proximity was a plus. The Wuchners have treated members of the same family. Mark has consulted with his father about patients in his care.
“If I ever had a question, my dad was right there,” he said.
Mark appreciates the influence his father had on his decision to become a doctor.
“This is a rewarding job,” said the family medicine physician. “I like the interaction with the patients. In primary care you get to know them well and get involved in their lives. Being able to help them with problems is gratifying, and they are so grateful.”
Just like his dad, Mark resides in the community where he works, and lives just 10 minutes away from his parents. He and his wife now have a 14-month-old baby boy – and two helpful, doting grandparents within reach.
“We love having them home,” said the retired couple.
A small town in Indiana was originally home for Edward Wuchner. Prior to embarking on a career in medicine, he was going to follow in his father’s footsteps, becoming a high school teacher and a coach. Two of his sons are following that professional path instead. One is a high school science teacher – and the other is working on his teaching credential.
“They all make me very proud,” said Edward Wuchner.