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Rewriting the Script: A Doctor’s Story of Family, Career, & Faith

Rewriting the Script:  A Doctors Story of Family, Career, & Faith

Dr. James (Jim) Warpinski, an alumni of Premontre, recently completed his memoir that captures his life story as a doctor, father and grandfather, as well as how his faith got him through traumatic experiences.

“I first started writing my memoir as a way of capturing my life story for my children and grandchildren. That seemed pretty straightforward, as I’ve had a lot of interesting and challenging experiences over the years,” said the Green Bay doctor.

Warpinski believed writing had a “mysterious quality of helping to heal the wounds” he suffered from.

“I used the process of writing to reflect on the meaning of all of these experiences and how they made me the person I’ve become.”

The writing process allowed Warpinski to heal from traumatic experiences in his life. He felt God gave him the opportunity to share with others how faith played an important role in overcoming his difficulties.

“Writing a memoir is a great way to learn about yourself. The process has taught me that even at this stage of my life, I have the grit and staying power to take on a very difficult project and see it through completion.”

It took Warpinski three-and-a-half years to complete his life story starting from the first draft through the publishing process.

“Over that time, I took a number of courses on writing and storytelling and read several books on memoir writing in general.”

Warpinski has published his book Rewriting the Script: A Doctor’s Spiritual Journey of Healing on Amazon and shared copies of it with those that were a part of his story.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to demonstrate gratitude. Wherever we are in life, whatever we might have attained, we haven’t done it alone. There are many who have contributed to our success.”

Warpinski hopes to write another book about his retirement experiences, such as hiking the National Scenic Ice Age Trail and gardening with his wife.

Warpinski has a strong connection with NDA. He graduated from Premontre in 1969 and several of his children attended NDA.

“I particularly enjoyed my classes in Latin and Russian and was involved with the annual musicals, Key Club, yearbook and intramural sports.”

Warpinski has stayed engaged with NDA through helping start the Chess Club and the Medicine, Health, and Society Club, where he has also been a guest speaker.

After graduating high school, Warpinski majored in human biology at UWGB and went to medical school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He did his pediatric residency at the University of Utah and an allergy fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics.

“I practiced Pediatrics in the U.S. Air Force for four years, attaining the rank of major and then practiced Pediatrics, Allergy, and Asthma care in Green Bay for almost 30 years.”

Warpinski also teaches at the Medical College of Wisconsin Green Bay. He had a lifelong desire to teach that dated back to high school, but he always felt a calling to be a physician. He was happy to realize the word doctor comes from the Latin word for “someone who leads another person,” i.e. a teacher.

“I’ve been involved with the Medical College of Wisconsin Green Bay since the day the Dean was announced to the community. Early on, he asked me to work with him on the development of several courses teaching professionalism to the medical students.”

Any student interested in writing should consider Warpinski’s advice. He kept a regular journal filled with sporadic entries over many years. He was able to refer back to journal entries written 40 years earlier for inspiration and clarification on events for his memoir.

“They helped clarify the facts of a painful episode. I would recommend journaling for everyone, but especially for writers. Make observations, record your thoughts, dream of possibilities, and,  most of all, read literature from different genres.”

Sharing your writing with others to receive constructive feedback is beneficial, but Warpinski also believes “writers need to write regularly.”

“Perhaps one of the most important things I would advise prospective writers or people in general is that they practice being curious about the people, places, events and situations of life. Ask questions and follow them up with more questions, always doing it in a respectful way,” said the doctor.

 

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About the Contributor
Mason Tumpach, Editor-in-Chief
Mason Tumpach is a senior at NDA that is entering his second year writing for the Tritonian. Along with writing news and feature stories that highlight the best qualities of NDA, Mason is also a German Club leader. If you don’t find him writing for the paper, he most likely can be found playing the piano or attending jiu jitsu practice. Mason is also a member of the Debate Club and Writers Union. He is looking forward to working with Mrs. Brown and all the other staff members to make the Tritonian the best it can be.

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