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FEATURE

ORESTES GUTIERREZ, DO ’03 Owner, Gutierrez Holistic Family Medicine, LLC; Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences; and Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Regional Assistant Dean, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences Eugene, Oregon [as told to David McKay Wilson]

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PHILADELPHIA COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE

Chris Pietsch

“I came to Florida from Cuba with my parents in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift. I was four years old. I remember being proud that I was the only one on our ship who didn’t get seasick. There were sharks circling our vessel. It was a perilous trip. Several drowned during the 90-mile journey. . . . I guess you can say I have spent my life overcoming odds. I survived the streets of North Miami, innercity schools, a broken home. But my brother and I knew my mother’s love, and we wanted for nothing. . . . I have always believed that in America, everything is possible. I stayed out of trouble, and I seized every opportunity I could. For several years, I served in the U.S. Navy, believing in the importance of giving back to the country that made it possible for a poor refugee to become a doctor. . . . After completing my family practice residency at the Mayo Clinic, I moved my family to Eugene, Oregon. There I started a solo practice—what they call a micro-practice or ideal medical practice. It’s part of a new wave in medicine. . . . It’s just me and my wife, Pam, who greets the patients when they arrive, collects the co-pays and does the billing. Our office is in a healing center with other practitioners. I don’t have a nurse, so that helps keep our overhead low. With a bigger group practice, you might have to see 30 patients a day to pay your bills. I see eight to ten patients, four days a week. During appointments, I spend 30 minutes or more with each patient. I drink coffee or tea with them, in a relaxed office setting, overseeing Eugene’s South Hills. I love forming lifelong relationships with my patients. . . . My practice has allowed me to craft the life of my dreams. I have full control of my schedule, which lets me do what I’m passionate about, including yoga and teaching. My wife and I decide our future.”

Profile for Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

PCOM Digest No2 2017  

For alumni and friends of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

PCOM Digest No2 2017  

For alumni and friends of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine