Finbar Foley, MD, specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine. He cares for outpatients with a range of pulmonary diseases and symptoms related to the lungs, and critically ill patients in the hospital, where he also consults on complicated pulmonary issues.
Both of Dr. Foley’s parents, as well his paternal grandfather, were physicians. “So, becoming a doctor was always a consideration,” he says. Prior to going into medicine, he worked as a 4th grade teacher in Queens. “I realized that I liked being a teacher and saw that I could realize my passion for teaching while also helping as a healer.”
Pulmonology and critical care turned out to be a fascinating field, Dr. Foley says, because of the combination of medical and procedural interventions that are available, and “ultimately, because of the fundamental value of pulmonology in helping people to breathe.”
As a critical care specialist, he often works with patients and their families when they are at their sickest and most vulnerable. “Many times, we can improve their status, which is inherently rewarding,” he says. There also are times when doctors cannot save patients. “In these cases, being able to provide comfort to the patient and family, and help them through the dying process, can be a challenge, but it’s also a tremendous gift,” he says.