Doctor dispenses tales of island medicine



PHOTO COURTESY OF JESUP MEMORIAL LIBRARY

BAR HARBOR — Fresh out of medical training, Dr. Chuck Radis moved to Peaks Island to fulfill a scholarship obligation but soon decided to call the island home. Since then, he has spent traveled by boat to the four year-round islands of Casco Bay as both a primary care physician and as a specialist.  

Jesup Memorial Library is hosting Radis 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, to speak about his career and the two books he has written about his experiences, “Go By Boat” and “Island Medicine.” 

Radis was drawn to medicine after meeting an osteopathic family practice bush pilot in Baja, Mexico. Following an internal medicine residency, the doctor moved his family to Peaks Island, logging more than 100 house calls each year.  

Radis slowly adapted to a medical practice where x-rays and advanced laboratory testing are available only on the mainland. When he travels to the outer islands of Casco Bay for house calls, he relies on his physical examination skills and a tackle box of emergency medications to successfully manage his patients.  

Throughout his years as both a primary health care physician and as a specialist, Radis has published both in peer-reviewed scientific journals and in the popular press. He has written on the narcotic epidemic, the logic of expanding Medicare for all Americans and physician assisted suicide.  

His experience in primary care has enriched his work in public health programs in South Sudan, Uganda, India and Ghana. As the founder and medical director for the Maine-African Partnership for Social Justice, he travels regularly to the Kiryandongo United Nations Settlement in Uganda where he partners with refugee groups in innovative public health programs.  

In recognition of his commitment to public health, Radis has been named both the Louis Hanson Maine Physician of the Year and Teacher of the Year at the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine.  

Radis has been married for 44 years to Sandi Korpela Radis, who began her career as a social worker and later worked as a Peaks Island plumber and electrician assistant.  He counts himself fortunate to have a recreational lobster license and occasionally brings home something for dinner. 

This event is co-sponsored by Sherman’s Books and copies of the books will be available the night of the event. They are also available to purchase at any of their stores, online at www.shermans.com or by calling (207) 288-3161.  

Registration is required at www.jesuplibrary.org/events/radis or by emailing [email protected] 

For in-person attendance, masks must be worn at all times during the program.  

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