Maria Loerzel, M.D. is featured in February issue of Minnesota Medicine Magazine

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loerzel_maria_wcPublished by Minnesota Medicine Magazine February 2013, Volume 96, Issue 2 2013.

In the February issue of Minnesota Medicine, “Why did you choose primary care?” They posed the question to physicians and medical students. What is it that drew them to generalize rather than specialize? To opt for the office over the hospital? To deal with the whole spectrum of disease rather than a narrow slice? This is what Dr. Loerzel had to say…

Going into medical school, I felt I was called to be in primary care. I just wasn’t sure if it should be family medicine, internal medicine, OB or pediatrics. I had a wonderful primary care doctor growing up and loved the consistency and comfort I had as a child seeing the same doctor the majority of the time. Doing the Rural Opportunity for Medical Education program as a third year medical student at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, which was modeled after RPAP here in Minnesota, cemented my passion for family medicine. I loved the diversity it offered, the continuity of care, and the fact that I would have the ability to care for the young and the old, handle the simple and complex, and do office procedures and obstetrics.

When I was in my second year of family medicine residency, one of my OB/GYN preceptors tried to talk me into entering OB/GYN. I shared with him that I had no desire to give up the child to the pediatrician after he or she was born. I love treating the entire family and watching the children I deliver grow and develop. It is so rewarding to discuss growth and development with the parents of a young child (especially during that first year of life) and share in their joy as they tell about their child’s first smiles, giggles, strengths and development.

In primary care, we also have the opportunity to prevent disease and in some cases to reverse the disease process. We are not always reactionary. One of the challenges of family medicine is that you never know what kind of problem you are going to face nor what issue is going to walk through your door at 4:40 on a Friday afternoon. This challenge allows me to constantly learn from my patients and grow as a physician and a person.

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