Adam Law, MD, FRCP (UK)

Adam Law

Adam Law

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Adam Law was born into a medical family in Hampstead, London. 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 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 working on medical genetics in the renowned Moore Clinic of John Hopkins University Hospital. When he graduated from medical school in England, 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 the medical school.

He did 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 master’s degree in biochemistry 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, a professor of Asian religions at Cornell University. Funded by a NIH postdoctoral research fellowship, he spent the next three years conducting research on basic molecular biology in the laboratory of Professor John T. Lis in Cornell’s Department of Biochemistry. During this time, he became Associate Attending Physician and Clinical Instructor in Medicine (Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism) at the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

In 1994 he decided to return to his clinical roots and to become a medical practitioner in the Ithaca community. His first day in that role-May 10, 1994, was a memorable one, being the same day as a total eclipse of the sun viewed from Ithaca. He joined and later took over the medical practice of internist 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, Oak Hill.

Dr. Law has created a physician-nurse practitioner team in the elegant Victorian Italianate house on Cayuga Street in downtown Ithaca where both primary care and endocrine patients are cared for. To this end patients benefit from alternating visits with Dr. Law and a nurse practitioner specializing in internal medicine or endocrinology/metabolic medicine. Well woman visits are provided by a nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health.

As an attending physician at the Cayuga Medical Center (and thus a member of its medical staff), Dr. Law has held many leadership positions. These include Chair of the Department of Medicine for two years and President of the Medical Staff for one year. He has also been very active in medical education. During 2009, his year as medical staff president at CMC, he initiated an active affiliation with Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and was responsible for bringing undergraduate medical students to Ithaca for 6-week clinical clerkships in primary care. He was similarly responsible for bringing medical residents from New York Presbyterian Hospital to Ithaca for 2–4 week elective periods based at the Cayuga Medical Center in order to practice general medicine as hospitalists in a community hospital, as well as to observe primary care in medical offices. He is currently Director of Ithaca Medical Education, a collaboration between the medical staff of the Cayuga Medical Center and Cornell’s Gannett Health Services that provides clinical education for medical students and residents. Dr. Law has also been engaged in peer education, in 2014 becoming chair of the Cayuga Medical Center’s Continuing Medical Education Committee for its medical staff. He has served the Cornell University community as well, sitting on the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (1995 – 2000) and being an active member of the Health Careers Program Advisory Board since 1996. Dr. Law has been the recipient of several awards since opening his medical practice. He received the Recognition for Outstanding Service award of the Tompkins County Community Mental Health Services Board in 2010; the Weill Cornell Medical College Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011 for his work in medical student education; and the Louis W. Munchmeyer, MD, Award for Excellence from the Cayuga Medical Center in 2012.

In 2009, Dr. Law became involved in a major new public health issue, as a result of questions posed by patients concerned about what Hydraulic Fracturing to develop the Marcellus Shale, popularly called “fracking”. As an endocrinologist, Dr. Law is particular concerned about introducing endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) into the environment, and has become an authority on this issue. Given the lack of attention to the general public health dimensions of this novel method of natural gas extraction, Dr. Law has become involved in educating the public, the medical profession and policy makers about its adverse effects. In May 2011 he became a founding board member of Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE Healthy Energy), a non-profit science-based organization which provides “a multidisciplinary approach to identifying reasonable, healthy, and sustainable energy options for everyone” and aims to “help empower citizens and policymakers by organizing and supplying objective, evidence-based information.” He has co-authored a number of commentaries on “fracking” in major medical journals, including “The rush to drill for natural gas: a public health cautionary tale” in the American Journal of Public Health. This frequently cited article co-authored with Madelon Finkel, PhD, was the first commentary on the subject in a peer-reviewed medical journal. In addition 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 Health Energy, Dr. Law’s interests now encompass the health implications of other unconventional energy extraction methods and solutions involving renewable energy, its storage and it’s 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. Dr. Law’s hobbies include cycling, running, hiking, reading widely and learning about Brazilian music, the viola caipira, in particular. In April 2002, he became a naturalized American citizen in a lovely ceremony at the Ithaca Courthouse.