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Get to Know Spencer Countiss, MD

February 1st, 2018 | Blog

Welcome to Grants Pass Clinic’s redesigned website and new Clinic Blog. We will be using this blog to let our health care providers introduce themselves to you and write about topics of interest.

There is plenty of influenza going around town right now, so I won’t bring any more into your life. Let me tell you instead how I got to Grants Pass and why I like it here so much.

I was born in the Chicago area and grew up in central Ohio. I left to spend 14 years in St Louis, where I went to college and medical school at Washington University. I stayed for residency in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital and then worked as a hospitalist for 3 years. I’ve been a fan of the St Louis Cardinals ever since.

How did I wind up in Oregon? It’s a question I ask myself all the time. I married my wife, Stacy, a lifetime resident of the LA area. She had no desire to live in the Midwest (the weather), and I didn’t want to live in Southern California (the crowds). We toured the west and settled on Grants Pass after spending a gorgeous Labor Day here. We’ve been completely happy with our decision, although I miss being able to go to baseball games 2-3 times a week. We’re raising our 2 boys, now 16 and 19 years old, here. We built a house on the river which we share with 2 horses, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and about a hundred chickens. We travel a little and ski when there’s snow.

Grants Pass Clinic was a perfect fit for me in 1993 and it has only gotten better. Since the physicians own and run the Clinic we set our own schedules to spend as much time as we need with patients and we can do what we think is right with minimal outside interference. I especially enjoy taking care of people over the long haul, since some of my patients have been seeing me for nearly 25 years. Knowing someone that long gives me insights I can’t get any other way, and it allows me and my patients to develop a deep mutual trust. Living in a small town such as Grants Pass I also get to see my patients at the Y, at Cartwright’s, and in the schools. I even get to ride my bike to work.

The rest of the Clinic is just as important. We have staff that has been with us for decades. Over the years I’ve had 3 wonderful nursing assistants, Helen, Jeanette, and now Vicky, who are just as attached to our patients as I am. Our administration, of which I’m now part, keeps things running smoothly and allows the providers to focus on the patients without the diversions of managing the business. Over the years we’ve grown by running our own Oregon Health Plan CCO, PrimaryHealth of Josephine County, which was the highest rated CCO in the state last year. The Clinic has broadened and deepened the services we provide through the Patient Centered Medical Home (which has its own blog), for which we were recognized by Medicare as the best Clinic in Oregon. We’ve managed to maintain a really high quality group of capable and caring providers.

So I’m glad I came and I’m not going anywhere else. Next month we’ll give you someone else’s story.