When we’re treated really well, many of us just can’t keep it to ourselves. So when patients recommend UConn’s Dr. Pamela Moore to their children, grandchildren, and even their great-grandchildren, it’s clear that she’s the exceptional physician each of us hopes for.
“I really respect Dr. Moore,” says patient Catherine Strauch, a great-grandmother whose extended family are also Moore’s patients. For the decade that Strauch has been under Moore’s care, “her judgements have been right-on with different situations,” she says.
Moore provides medical care for Strauch’s daughter, granddaughter, and 18-month-old great-grandchild. “I’m 90 years old, and Dr. Moore is very knowledgeable about the latest medical developments about aging,” says Strauch, “just like she is with the one-and-a-half year old. She deals with individuals and their particular problems. And she’s very empathetic.”
Moore, who has been in practice for 22 years, is the medical director of UConn Health’s multi-specialty practice in Storrs Center. She oversees a staff with expertise in occupational medicine, gynecology, orthopedics, cardiology, and psychiatry. But the route she took getting to the top of her profession was circuitous.
Back in 1968, she earned her bachelor’s degree from a UConn school that no longer exists, Home Economics, in a major that’s also been phased out. She majored in fashion design and merchandising because she likes sewing – a skill that’s useful in more ways than one. “I’m very good at stitching people up,” Moore comments dryly. “In the ’60s,” she adds, “women were told to be secretaries, teachers, or nurses – or stay home with their children.”
Moore married and had four children. When her children were young, a couple of them were in the hospital sick with asthma, and that’s when she became interested in medicine. In 1984, while going through a divorce, she decided to go back to UConn to get a nursing degree. But the professor who became her mentor, Dr. Blake Prescott, formerly of Storrs and now in Vermont, encouraged her to go to medical school.
With her youngest in kindergarten and the others in the second, fourth, and sixth grades, Moore redirected her nursing studies. “I took organic chemistry and physics, deciding that if I did well in both of those at once, I could handle the academics of becoming a doctor,” she says. She earned a 3.9 GPA, postponed her third year of nursing school, took the tests to enter medical school, and applied to schools including UConn and Dartmouth.
Moore says there was an older woman in Dartmouth’s medical school recruitment brochure, so she applied, as “it looked like a place that might be open to people with different backgrounds.” She was waitlisted by UConn, but received a good financial aid package from Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, and it was there that she earned her MD in 1993.
After Moore completed her residency in family medicine at Middlesex Hospital, Prescott, her former mentor, retired and he placed his patients’ care into her hands. She stepped into Prescott’s practice, sharing it with two other doctors. “I wanted to go into family practice both to take care of families and because I had an excellent role model in my own family physician, Dr. Prescott,” Moore says. “He gave his patients his all.
“Patients are really important,” she adds, “and I too really enjoy helping people and their families. It especially helps the moms of small children to come to me, because I’ve been there, done that.”
By 2006, she and one of her colleagues wanted to expand the practice by shifting to electronic medical records, anticipating that was the wave of the future. Several partnership changes and local office relocations later, she found herself being a solo practitioner for a year. “I knew I couldn’t continue doing that,” she says. “When you’re alone, you can’t take any time off.” She has a grandchild living in Oregon, and enjoys going to visit him.
So in 2013, when UConn Health recruited Moore to direct its new facilities in Storrs Center, she accepted the challenge, and she has held that role since its opening. She is affiliated with both UConn’s John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington and with Windham Hospital, since most of her patients live in the Storrs area and go there in the event of an emergency.
Many of UConn Health’s Storrs Center Medical Services patients are part of UConn nation, including many faculty and staff, as well as graduate students. Given Moore’s own life experience, she says she encourages many of her female patients to continue with their studies or go back to school.
Moore’s patients benefit from the convenience of specialty services offered in Storrs. “I can send my patients for x-rays right down the hall, and over to orthopedics or to cardiology after they see me,” she says. “Everything is very handy; patients really enjoy that they can see multiple health professionals in this one facility.”
Strauch, the great-grandmother, is one of those who welcome the convenience. “I like the fact that Dr. Moore is with UConn,” she says. “I like to be as independent as possible, not asking my family for rides, and UConn has many specialty physicians who are local.”
Dr. Moore can be reached at 860.487.9200. Storrs Center Medical Services is located at One Royce Circle, Suite 104, Storrs, CT 06268. Patients are encouraged to park on the first floor of the Storrs Center Parking Garage on Dog Lane, where parking is free for two hours.