Adam Law, M.D., FRCP (UK)
Adam Law was born into a medical family in Hampstead, London, United Kingdom. Both his parents were family practitioners and he was exposed early to the notion that medicine is a service to the community and should be provided in a humane, neighborhood context. His parents established highly regarded medical practices located in the heart of London neighborhoods, insisting on medicine with a human scale.
Dr. Law trained in medicine at The Middlesex Hospital Medical School at the University of London. He gained first hand experience of American medicine during a three month elective period at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in the renowned Moore Clinic of Medical Genetics. When he graduated from medical school in the United Kingdom, he distinguished himself by winning all the major clinical prizes offered by his medical school (eight in all) including a gold medal in surgery, a scholarship in medicine and an award “to the most promising young doctor who has just finished his/her training.” This was the first and only time this had ever been accomplished by a single medical student in the history of this medical school.
He underwent his clinical training and higher medical training in endocrinology and diabetes in the foremost London teaching hospitals. After gaining membership in the Royal College of Physicians he turned his attention to medical science, and received a masters degree in biochemistry with distinction and a doctorate from the University of London. In 1999 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, UK.
He came to the USA on a fellowship of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) to study the molecular genetics of bipolar disorder at the University of California San Francisco. During this stay he was a visiting physician in the thyroid clinic at UCSF. He came to Ithaca to marry Jane Marie who is a professor of Asian religions at Cornell University. For the first 3 years in Ithaca he conducted research in basic molecular biology funded by a NIH postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Professor John T. Lis in the Department of Biochemistry. During these three years, he became Associate Attending Physician and Clinical Instructor in Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. During his academic training, he was an author of 13 scientific papers.
In 1994 he decided to return to his clinical roots and to become a medical practitioner in the Ithaca community. His first day was May 10, 1994 – coincidentally the same day as a total eclipse of the sun viewed from Ithaca. He joined and later took over the active internal medical practice of David Newman, MD who went on to be director of the student health center at Ithaca College. Dr. Law became an attending physician at the Cayuga Medical Center and has admitting privileges at the Cayuga Medical Center, Cayuga Ridge, and Oak Hill.
He has been practicing medicine from this elegant Victorian Italianate house on Cayuga Street in downtown Ithaca since 1996. He has developed a practice that includes both primary care/internal medicine and endocrinology. To this end he has created a physician-nurse practitioner team. Patients benefit from alternating visits with Dr. Law and a nurse practitioner specializing in primary care/internal medicine or endocrinology/metabolic medicine. Well women visits are provided by a nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health.
He has continued to have attending physician privileges at the Cayuga Medical Center. As a member of the medical staff he has held many leadership positions. These include Chair of the Department of Medicine for 2 years and in 2009 he was President of the Medical Staff for 1 year.
Dr. Law has become very active in medical education. During his year as medical staff President he initiated an active affiliation with Weill Cornell Medical College and has been responsible for bringing undergraduate medical students to Ithaca for 6 week clinical clerkship’s in primary care. In addition, medical residents from New York Presbyterian Hospital come to Ithaca for 2 – 4 week elective periods based at the Cayuga Medical Center, with the opportunity to practice general internal medicine as hospitalists’ in a community hospital as well as experiencing primary care in medical offices. He is currently the Director of Ithaca Medical Education, a collaboration between the medical staff of the Cayuga Medical Center and Gannett Health Services to provide clinical education for medical students and residents. He is also engaged in peer education. In 2014 he became Chair of the Continuing Medical Education Committee of the medical staff of the Cayuga Medical Center.
He has also served the Cornell University community. He was a member of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee from 1995 – 2000. He has been an active member of the Health Careers Program Advisory Board since 1996. Dr. Law has been the recipient of several awards since being in medical practice in Ithaca. He was recipient of The Tompkins County Community Mental Health Services Board 2010 Recognition for Outstanding Service. As a result of his work in medical student education he was awarded The Weill Cornell Medical College 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award. He received The Louis W. Munchmeyer, MD, Award for Excellence, Cayuga Medical Center 2012.
In 2009 Dr. Law became involved in a major new issue in public health as a result of questions posed by concerned patients. New York State issued a draft generic environmental with a public comment period concerning “Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing to Develop the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs”. As an endocrinologist he was particular concerned about the introduction into the environment of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and has become an authority on this issue. In view of the lack of attention to the general public health dimensions of this form of unconventional natural gas extraction, he has also become involved in educating the public, the medical profession and policy makers on the scientific evidence of the adverse effects of this novel fossil fuel extraction method on human health. In May 2011 he became a founding board member of Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE), a non-profit science-based organization which provides “a multi-disciplinary approach to identifying reasonable, healthy, and sustainable energy options for everyone. We will help empower citizens and policymakers by organizing and supplying objective, evidence-based information”. As a result of this public health role he has co-authored a number of commentaries in major medical journals. This includes the highly cited first commentary in a peer-reviewed medical journal on this topic co-authored with Madelon Finkel, PhD, entitled “The rush to drill for natural gas: a public health cautionary tale” in the American Journal of Public Health. He has organized and co-sponsored international conferences on this topic for public health scientists and policy makers in the USA and the UK. Alongside his work with PSE his interests are now encompass the health implications of other unconventional energy extraction methods and solutions involving renewable energy, its storage and delivery.
Dr. Law and his wife Jane Marie have raised their three children in the Ithaca area. The five of them love the Finger Lakes – the people, the community, the natural beauty of this area and they consider this home. His hobbies include cycling, running, hiking, reading widely and learning about Brazilian music and the viola caipira in particular. In April 2002 he became a naturalized American citizen in a lovely ceremony at the Ithaca Court house.