The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Brandon Cline
Managing Editor 

Rural care a passion for new doctor at EARH

 

Last updated 5/30/2019 at 10:32am



Earlier this month, East Adams Rural Healthcare (EARH) welcomed a new doctor to its family with the addition of Dr. Anthony Anderson, MD, as a family medicine specialist.

Anderson most recently worked in Marysville, WA, about a 45-minute drive north from Seattle. Anderson hails from Los Angeles, California (DOUBLE CHECK) and graduated from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York in 1990, but says providing care in rural and remote settings has always been a passion of his.

After graduating medical school nearly 30 years ago, Anderson did a payback on the National Health Services scholarship he received for three years at an Indian reservation, where he delivered babies. Following the completion of his residency after that, Anderson worked at hospitals in rural, remote areas in northern Alaska.

One such location was Barrow (now called Utqiagvik), which is located north of the Arctic Circle and dubbed as the northernmost city in the United States. The weather is so frigid that the streets in the city must be left unpaved due to the prevalence of permafrost. Anderson also worked at a hospital in Kotzebue, and noted that one of his daughters actually graduated from high school in Kotzebue with Eskimos.

Multiple factors played a role in Anderson's desire to provide medical care in rural settings. As a child, he was frequently in and out of the hospital due to his asthma up until he was 18. He told himself that wanted to come back and provide the type of care that he had received. As for wanting to serve in a rural setting, he also traces that back to his childhood.

"I had an aunt and uncle who taught on an Indian reservation for 20 years, and it made a big impression on me when my dad used to take us way out there to see them. And I said I'd go work where people need doctors," Anderson said.

As for landing on family medicine, Anderson said that he initially worked in the OB/GYN Department during his three-year payback stint after graduating from medical school. But following his payback and before his residency, he decided that he wanted to do more widespread care, hence his decision to go into family medicine.

"For me, family medicine means 'womb to tomb,'" said Anderson. "Because I like staying with the families and working with them throughout it all."

At EARH, so far it's been paperwork galore and trying to get used to a new system for Anderson. The hospital he worked at prior in Marysville was all outpatient care, while EARH provides both inpatient, outpatient and emergency room care. But Anderson said he's worked in plenty of places that require doctors to provide the various types of care, because doctors at hospitals in rural areas usually need to be flexible.

Away from the job, Anderson attends church regularly and says that it can help reduce some of the stresses that come with the job. He also enjoys playing the piano and violin whenever he can find the time, which he learned how to play when he was younger.

Anderson has been married for 44 years and has two daughters. His older daughter currently lives with and is helping care for his wife in Nampa, Idaho and his younger daughter lives in Chandler, Arizona. On most weekends, Anderson heads to Nampa to be with his wife and daughter.

At the end of the day, Anderson wants the community and his patients to know that he genuinely cares about people. "I want to see people do better, in whatever situation. And sometimes situations are really bad, but I like to work with them and try and get them to wherever they need to be ... I really look forward to getting involved with the community and taking care of the patients."

 

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