Debra Mostek, M.D., assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine-Division of Geriatric Medicine, will be retiring June 30 after a 20-year career at UNMC.
Dr. Mostek joined UNMC in 1999, taking part in a two-year geriatric fellowship after a 17-year career in family medicine. After the fellowship, she became a member of the geriatrics faculty.
It didn't take her long to realize she had found a home.
"I have loved working with all my colleagues," she said. ""They are amazing role models as well as being very supportive, very caring physicians. From the beginning, I have enjoyed the camaraderie and the collegiality -- the culture of the geriatrics division, or section as it was back then, has made UNMC a wonderful place to work."
Over the years, Dr. Mostek has seen the emphasis on home visits grow and taken part as, nationally, the profession began to focus on exploring goals of care with patients and educating clinicians in the primary care specialties to enhance their expertise in geriatrics.
She's also made an impact on UNMC outside of her division by working with students from other divisions and colleges on interprofessional collaboration -- a skill that she said geriatricians are well-based in.
"In geriatrics, we're very team-based because our patients and their health needs can be so complex," she said. "One person can't be an expert in all the different fields. I've had great fun working with the students on interprofessional education. I've always teased them that I come from an interprofessional family -- my husband is a clinical pharmacist, my eldest daughter is a physical therapist and my youngest daughter has her B.S.N. And we all trained at UNMC."
Her interprofessional work is only one example of Dr. Mostek's dedication to patients, her colleagues said.
"Dr. Mostek is the definition of a selfless doctor," said colleague Karina Bishop, M.D. "Working with her, I was reminded constantly to be compassionate and caring. She has devoted her career to the attention of the most vulnerable older adults, thru home visits and working with Adult Protective Services. What she did was not easy, and she did so effortlessly. She has made Nebraska more geriatric friendly by training not only medical students, but also those in allied health care disciplines."
"Dr. Mostek has embodied most what we want to see in our colleagues and our own physician -- she is tirelessly focused on the patient and providing care that best meets their needs, wants, and fears," said Al Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine's Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care Medicine. "It has been an honor for the division, and me, to work with her."
Dr. Mostek plans to stay busy in retirement, exploring volunteer options and spending time with her grandchildren.
"In looking back, I did 17 years of family medicine before I switched to geriatrics, and I have been very happy with that change," she said. "It has been an honor and humbling to work with the geriatrics faculty and staff here at UNMC."
Deb Mostek is amazing. I was section head and fellowship director when she joined geriatrics as a fellow and have been witness to all of her many accomplishments. From the outset it was clear to me that we would learn as much from her as we could ever teach her. She came with a wealth of experience not only in adult medicine, but also EENT, gynecology and preventive medicine. She has an amazing inquiring mind and a constant need to learn, as demonstrated by the fact that after certification in geriatrics she studied and became certified in hospice and palliative medicine. Over her 17 years with the division she rarely missed a journal club, teaching conference, or research conference. In each of these venues she shared her keen insights on the issue or problem under discussion. She has taught and inspired a generation of geriatric medicine fellows to understand nursing home and palliative care and service to those in need of adult protective services. She always role models empathy and understanding to the most vulnerable patients. To say that Deb is hard working is an understatement. She consistently worked long hours whenever there was a patient in need, which was often. She will be greatly missed by all.
I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Mostek with a particular patient. I was amazed at her selfless commitment to visiting this patient at home. She was very patient with both staff and the family. Wishing you the best in retirement Dr. Mostek. Thanks for your years of selfless service to your patients.