By Dr. David Black and Kathleen Swift
A father is someone who provides guidance, protection and love to his family, and the third Sunday in June is a day set aside to honor our fathers, to show appreciation for them, to exemplify the bond between fathers and their loved ones. And, of course, there’s a special bond between father and son. At Freeman, there are several fathers and sons working together in healthcare, including Dr. David Black, an orthopaedic surgeon, and his son, Dr. Christopher Black, a palliative care physician.
Dr. David Black grew up in Arma, Kansas. He attended and graduated from Pittsburg State University. During his time at Pitt State, he began working for an ambulance service, which piqued his interest in medicine. Later, while working at what is now Via Christi Hospital, he became interested in orthopaedics. He earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City and completed his orthopaedic training there. He is the first member of his family to go into the medical field.
Dr. Christopher Black grew up in Joplin, Missouri, and graduated from Joplin High School. He completed a six-year medical school program at the University of Missouri Medical School (located in Kansas City), followed by an internal medicine residency at Akron General Hospital in Akron, Ohio. While in medical school, Dr. Christopher Black saw the need for physicians in palliative care as he interacted with patients and families in an ICU setting. He then completed a Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship at the University of Nevada in Reno. Immediately following that fellowship, he began his medical practice at Freeman Health System in 2016. Dr. Christopher Black is the only board-certified palliative care physician in the Four-State Area.
As a father seeing his son pursue a career in medicine, Dr. David Black is extremely proud of his son’s hard work and desire to help his patients. Even though they are in different fields of medicine, their paths sometimes cross. When asked what he loves most about seeing his son in medicine, Dr. David Black said, “Seeing your children succeed is always foremost for a parent, but seeing and hearing about the effect Dr. Christopher Black has on his patients and their family’s lives is a parent’s dream.”