For National Doctor’s Day, we interviewed Dr. Marvin R. Moszkowicz (Dr. Mos), who has been seeing patients at Morningside for over 40 years. Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Dr. Mos spent his childhood in this South American city, the world’s highest mountain capital with the dramatic snow-capped Mt. Illimani as its backdrop. In 1975, his mother sent him to study medicine at the Universidad Autonomo de Guadalajara in Mexico.
After his university studies, he came to the United States to practice through the ECFMG exchange program at Stony Brook Hospital in Long Island, New York (you can hear a slight Long Island accent when he speaks). He did his residency at Booth Memorial Hospital in Queens. At the time, there was no geriatric/palliative residency in the country. However, the Long Island Jewish Hillside Medical Center existed as an entire separate hospital for the elderly where he saw patients as part of his rotation in 1975-76.
Dr. Mos first became acquainted and enamored with San Antonio when he drove through the city while on vacation in the late 1970s. After he finished his residency in 1979, he decided to move to San Antonio from New York, which during that time was going through the infamous Blackout and Truck Strike.
In San Antonio, he did an internship with Dr. Cooper, and through Dr. Cooper, started treating older adults in the city at nursing homes as an independent physician. According to Dr. Mos, doctors really didn’t make medical visits to nursing homes, and geriatrics was a burgeoning new field back then. He learned geriatrics on the job.
He started seeing Morningside patients over 40 years ago, starting at the Manor, which then had only three nurses. However, there were more units (1-7) at the Kaulbach. Dr. Mos became a Medical Director at both the Manor and Chandler around the late 1990s. As a director of long-term (post-acute) care, he joined the American Medical Directors Association. He also received a CMD (Certified Medical Director) certification, which has to be recertified every six years. He was also previously a director at Kendall House.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Dr. Mos says he would see about 90 patients twice a month at Morningside. This was also before nurse practitioners and today’s doctor groups, when every doctor worked independently. Dr. Mos now works with the Babcock Medical Associates and has worked with nurse practitioner Tessy Kadavil for the past 10 years. Today, the long-term care dynamic is also changing, says Dr. Mos.
Currently, he works in primary care, seeing patients 30 years of age and older at his office at Physicians Plaza I at 8038 Wurzbach, as well as at Morningside Ministries. He also works for VITAS Hospice part time. Dr. Mos says that part of his medical approach is treating patients “by their functional age, not their actual age” as patients can look younger or older than they really are. For example, people in their 90s are still active and traveling. He notes that his practice is a “person-centered practice.” Some families have been with Dr. Mos for over 25 years. Dr. Mos is dedicated to his geriatric practice and enjoys his life in San Antonio with his wife, two children, and four grandchildren, who were all born and raised in the city.