Dr. Kimberlee Burckart, MD joins RHSHC

Meet the New Doctor
CRESCO - It is a homecoming of sorts for Dr. Kimberlee Burckart, MD, to practice medicine at Regional Health Services of Howard County (RHSHC). Born and raised in Waukon, and with family still living in the area, it’s a tailor-made situation on the personal front, but not the only reason she chose to return.
“The people [at RHSHC] are actually a great fit,” she said. “If it wouldn’t have been a good fit, being close to home wouldn’t have been enough for me. But now it’s just an added benefit that grandma and grandpa are close.”
Married with two daughters, Burckart appreciates the proximity of family and the small-town feel of the Cresco area. “It’s nice, having a sense of community where people know your kids,” she said. “Kind of a village helping you raise your family.”
Now settled in at a small acreage about five miles north of Chester, the road home took a circuitous route for Burckart. 
The first steps of her journey were made to the University of Iowa; where, as the first person in her family to go to college, she completed her undergraduate studies before moving on to a graduate program at Southeast Texas in Galveston. It was there, in Texas, that she earned a PhD in biochemistry and was first introduced to surgery.
“My point of doing it [the PhD] with the biochemistry department was that I was mostly going to do protein folding work and really just bench science,” Burckart said. “And I had said, never, I’m not doing animal models. I’m not doing that stuff. Then, my whole PhD, I ended up doing surgery on like 4,000 mice.” She laughed. “And I loved it. I loved it.”
It was then that Burckart shadowed some MD/PhDs candidates and found her true calling. “The first time I walked into an operating room,” she said, “I was, like, this is what I’m doing with my life.”
With that decision made, Burckart went back to the University of Iowa for medical school, then on to residency in Colorado.
“I just finished residency at North Colorado Family Medicine,” Burckart said. “They’re an unopposed, full-spectrum training program in Greeley, Colo. And then they have some tracts within their residency, so I was part of the Sterling Rural Training tract.”
“The city of Sterling is about 14,000 folks, but there’s not really anything [else] for a couple of hours,” she explained. “So you have people coming from western Nebraska and everywhere. Sterling is where they get their care. And they are one of the only delivering hospitals left in the area.”
“I feel really fortunate for that training,” she said, “because it is learning what you can keep, what needs to go, kind of a sense of urgency about that stuff. I got to practice that for the last two years.”
In addition to the Sterling Rural Training tract, North Colorado Family Medicine is one of only five programs in the country that is an OB-fellowship-equivalent family medicine program. “Not too many family medicine programs have the volume that they can adequately train you in C-Sections,” Burckart noted. “Most of them don’t do surgical obstetrics, they just do vaginal delivery.” 
With the surgical obstetrics training and a family medicine program with a rural medicine tract, it was the best of both worlds; a perfect training ground for someone going into Family Medicine with a women’s health focus.
“Looking back on it now,” Burckart said, “I think I would have been a little bored doing OB/GYN. I really do enjoy seeing my grumpy old men, my little babies, my kids and kind of everyone.”
That being said, her favorite part of the job is still the surgical obstetrics. Her least favorite is dealing with insurance. “It’s just the worst,” she said, citing “bean counters” interfering with medical decisions as her personal pet peeve.
When she’s not working, Burckart enjoys what she calls “seasonal hobbies.” For summer, it’s gardening. For fall, she loves canning and preserving, and picking apples at the apple orchards. 
For winter, she likes to crochet. She especially enjoys thread crocheting doilies. “My thing I really love,” she said, “is I do period costumes for Barbies. So I have two I’ve completely finished and another two I’ve finished the crocheting, but I haven’t done all the embellishments on them yet.”
From a PhD involving mouse surgery to making period costumes for Barbies, Dr. Burckart’s journey has not only been circuitous, but also rife with interesting pit stops and diversions along the way. “I’m just a very curious individual,” Burckart said. “A life-long learner I would say is a good way to describe me.”
If you’d like to book an appointment with Dr. Burckart, you can do so by calling the Cresco Medical Clinic at 563-547-2022. She is excited to meet her new patients.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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