35 Years at the Grants Pass Clinic
I saw my first patient at the Grants Pass Clinic 35 years ago this week, and I’ll never forget him. I was unsure what my first day would bring as I opened the door to the exam room at the former Grants Pass Clinic building on Manzanita and found an astonishingly sick gentleman whom I promptly admitted to Josephine Memorial Hospital up the street and cancelled the rest of the office day to take care of him.
The time since that day has flown by.
There have been many changes in both the practice of medicine and at the Grants Pass Clinic since then, but what stands out now is how the things that really matter have stayed the same. For example, ensuring continuity of care for our patients and practicing evidence based medicine were important then and are important to us now. Thinking about continuity, I find it awesome in this day and age to realize that I’ve known and cared for many of my patients for most of those 35 years.
Probably the most important focus that has remained unchanged over time is related to searching for and choosing new providers as colleagues. As a member of a medical practice that was vibrant long before I came to town and will continue to serve our community long after my career has come to a close, it’s clear that bringing in the very best new providers to the Grants Pass Clinic is critical to the long term goals of high quality care and continuity for our patients. As an independent physician practice, we have been able to bring to our community truly outstanding long term providers for our patients. Accomplishing this has made possible the kind of care for our patients that has led to honors such as the clinic being named the top patient centered medical home in the state of Oregon.
I’ve been a runner from my youth, a mostly solitary sport. I cherish my time alone pattering down the road from my home as the sun comes up, enjoying the cool of the morning and the rising birdsong before the day begins.
Medicine is a collaborative process, now more than ever. We are better together. I came here 35 years ago because the Grants Pass Clinic physicians of that time were the kind of doctors I wanted to spend my life working with. A generation later, it is still true to this very day.
Written by Dr. Bruce Stowell