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Learning the ropes of hometown medicine
As the newest member of the Meadowbrook Urgent Care team, Kim DePrati brings years of experience and a genuine passion for health care and patient services to her job as physicians assistant.
Originally from central Washingtons Methow Valley, DePrati studied pre-med at Gonzaga University. Short on money, DePrati had to suspend her studies and instead turned her attention toward a stint in the Air Force, where she was trained as a lab technician.
After her four-year tour in the Air Force, DePrati continued to work as a technician in the private sector, spending six years in Brewster, Wash. She hadnt given up on her med school dream, though.
I always thought that I would get back to it, DePrati said.
DePrati then learned of the University of Washingtons MEDEX Physician Assistant training program.
The intense program appealed to DePrati because it is well respected in the medical field, and focuses on placing health-care providers in underserved areas. The training program is also supportive of veterans.
For DePrati, a small-town girl and military veteran, this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
It just felt right, she said. I always wanted to work in small town medicine.
Physicians assistants are intended to help fill the gaps in the health-care field; the profession was originally created for medics returning from Vietnam who had training and skills, but not doctorates.
They try to stick to what the core values of a PA is, DePrati said of the MEDEX program.
During the final phase of the program, DePrati was assigned to Meadowbrook, an environment she quickly took to.
I knew I was a good fit there, she said.
At Meadowbrook, DePrati is able to treat all manner of patients and ailments, keeping her busy and teaching her something new every day.
I get to see a little bit of everything, she said.
DePrati also has an opportunity to learn from the two doctors on staff at Meadowbrook, Dr. Mary Shroff and Dr. Dean Steele.
I get to bounce ideas off of these two great doctors, she said.
In the four months shes been at Meadowbrook, DePrati feels shes already learned much and grown as a physicians assistant.
Ive already made wonderful connections with my patients, she said. Its everything I wanted.
DePratis family plans to make the stay more permanent by moving to North Bend and putting down roots.
I cant wait to get my kids in school here and become a part of the community, she said.
DePrati is looking forward to establishing herself at Meadowbrook Urgent Care, developing rewarding relationships with her patients, and continuing to learn from her coworkers.
Its been amazing, she said.