Nancy Giguere, Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
April 20, 2003 DISTINCTFLAVOR
We've all stood before a box of chocolates wondering whether to
choose the vanilla cream or the nut crunch. Doctors and nurses face a similar
choice when deciding on a specialty because each one has its own distinct flavor
and unique rewards.
A Little Bit of Everything
Dr. Kenneth Crabb, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Advanced
Specialty Care for Women in St. Paul, chose his specialty, in part, because he
liked the idea of seeing the same patients over a long period of time like an
As an ob/gyn, Crabb gets "to do a little bit of everything."
That includes providing primary and specialty care to patients as well as
delivering babies. He also performs surgery and has a special interest in
abnormal pap smears, pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding. "Except for family
practice in a rural setting, no other specialty offers as much variety," he
A "Family Friendly" Specialty
Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield, III, an Eagan dermatologist in solo
practice, was raised by parents who were both doctors. He remembers how often
his father, an ob/gyn, was called to a delivery in the wee hours of the morning.
He chose dermatology, in part, because it's a more "family friendly" specialty
with a less rigorous call schedule.
He likes the fact that dermatologists - unlike emergency room
physicians do not work under extreme pressure. He also chose dermatology for
its variety: he treats patients of both sexes and all ages, as well as
practicing surgery and doing pathology. In addition, dermatology is a visual
field, which Crutchfield also likes. "The problem is right in front of me where
I can see it," he says. "There's usually no need for a lot of fancy tests."
An Intellectual Challenge
Gaida Quinn, an in-patient psychiatric nurse at Hennepin County
Medical Center, has also worked in neurology and geriatrics. Although she
enjoyed working in these areas, she says her current job is one of the most
intellectually challenging and creative she has had.
Psychiatric nurses focus on the whole person, which Quinn
prefers to monitoring vital signs or measuring cardiac output. Helping people
with brain disorders who can't articulate - or don't know - what they need can
be a formidable task. "I watch for behavioral changes and try to figure out
where the tension, anxiety, or disharmony is coming from. You have to do a lot
of thinking," Quinn says.
Sharing a Vulnerable Time
Denice Hinrichs, a nurse clinician at the Mercy & Unity
Obesity Intervention Program in Fridley, believes that she has found "the most
rewarding career in nursing."
Her patients are morbidly obese, at least 100 pounds over their
ideal weight. She works with them as they prepare for, undergo and recover from
stomach bypass surgery. For most patients, the results are dramatic: their
health improves and their lives change for the better. "I'm so blessed to be
here," Hinrichs says. "It's a privilege to share this vulnerable time with them
and know that we are truly helping to change lives."
Nancy Giguere is owner of Wordsmith, and is a freelance
writer from St. Paul, MN.