December 17, 2017

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After 16 Years My Internal Medicine Practice at ACMC-Willmar is Still Where I Belong

Dr. David Newcomer ACMC Willmar Internal Medicine

After 16 years ACMC-Willmar is still everything internal medicine physician Dr. David Newcomer was looking for when he first came to Willmar and more. 

Growing up the son of a gastroenterologist—and in Rochester, Minn., home of the Mayo Clinic, where my dad worked—I always knew I had an interest in medicine.  There was no defining moment when I realized I wanted to practice medicine; it just seemed to fit. What wasn’t quite as defined was what field I would enter. I tossed around the idea of following in my dad’s footsteps as a GI doctor.  But after medical school and many rotations as a medical student, I realized how much I enjoyed practicing general medicine.  Before long I was on my way to becoming an internal medicine physician.

Anyone in the medical field knows that medicine can be a very demanding career.  I have always been fortunate because my wife Chris is very supportive. So it wasn’t any surprise when I began searching for my first practice, she encouraged me to take my time to find the type of practice that fit me—and our family—and what I was looking for. Though she never pressured me to consider Affiliated Community Medical Centers (ACMC) in Willmar, it’s because of her that I’m here today.

The Road to ACMC-Willmar

As a native of Willmar, Chris knew Dr. Jim Tiede, one of the internists at ACMC. When we were back for a visit with her family in 1997 she introduced me to him. As conversations often do with doctors, ours naturally turned to medicine, and he told me about his practice with ACMC. Everything I learned led me to believe this would be a great place to establish my practice.  I never wanted to work in a huge city, and the size of the Willmar community was just what I was looking for.  I learned that ACMC had a large number of specialties in addition to the team of internal medicine partners with whom I’d work—and split my time on call.  It seemed to have the perfect combination of a larger medical group with many resources in a smaller community I had hoped to work in.

These things hold true today, even 16 years after I joined the healthcare team at ACMC.  In my time here the list of things I appreciate about ACMC and my practice has grown beyond what I was initially looking for.

Internal medicine has changed quite a bit in the last ten to fifteen years. There is a difference being a doctor working in the clinic with out-patient medicine and an internist who works in a hospital. Though we have four hospitalists at ACMC in Willmar, I still get to do both. I see my patients in the clinic, but I can still care for them in the hospital. As a doctor, it’s something I really appreciate. I like providing that continuity of care for my patients. Though ACMC has more than 35 specialties, I am still able manage the care for my patients and treat them more completely.  But what I enjoy the most is getting to know my patients.  It’s an honor that my patients trust me enough to let me into their lives to get to know them more personally than just as a patient.

In 2007 I took on an additional role as ACMC’s chief medical officer. Though I’m frequently pulled in multiple directions, it keeps me more engaged in my practice because I’m able to see the bigger picture of ACMC and what we’re trying to do in our communities. It’s so different from what I do everyday in an exam room, and it makes me really appreciate the chance to get back into doctor-mode to care for my patients one-on-one.

Despite my busy practice and administrative duties, we’re fortunate at ACMC to have flexible schedules.  Because ACMC is a physician-owned system, it’s a bit easier to adjust our schedules in a way that works best with our lives outside clinic walls.  I am lucky enough to have the flexibility to attend my children’s concerts or get away to our lake home just ten minutes from Willmar or even enjoy a quick game of golf or hockey. It’s the best of both worlds—especially knowing that we’re encouraged to get out to events like these and support what’s going on in our communities.

Working in a smaller community and for ACMC makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger.  I’m not just a cog in a wheel.  What I’m doing really makes a difference in the community my family loves, the place where we call home.  It’s pretty amazing that the perfect place for me 16 years ago still is right where I belong today.