IVN contributing writer
It’s been a long awaited, permanent homecoming for physician assistant (PA) Chris Rotin, the newest medical provider at the AllCare Medical Group, located at 25647 Redwood Hwy. in the Hanby Subdivision. Rotin’s route back to her beloved Illinois Valley has been circuitous one. She and her family first came to live in the I.V. in 1994, where she worked first as a licensed vocational nurse and then later as a registered nurse. But after 20 years she made the bold decision to go back to school to earn her PA degree, ending up at the University of Washington in Spokane.
According to Rotin, the first year of the two year graduate-level program was devoted to book learning, while the second year was spent doing clinical rotations in a variety of specialties: an ER rotation at Providence Hospital in Medford; an orthopedic rotation in Grants Pass; a psychiatric rotation in Medical Lake, Washington; a women’s health rotation in Spokane, a colorectal surgery rotation in Grants Pass; and a faculty rotation in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Her six month family practice rotation was with Dr. Nordahl in the Illinois Valley, and family practice proved to be her love.
“You see all ages from baby day two to the last day of life,” said Rotin. “In fact I was with a patient when she took her last breath. One place I worked I started with a family when they had one baby in their arms and eight years later they had three children. I still get Christmas cards from them.”
In 2005 Rotin graduated. Then she moved around quite a bit, working variously in Crescent City, California; in Oklahoma working with Native American tribes; and in Round Mountain, California. In Oklahoma she developed a “subspecialty” in foot and wound care, as there is a high incidence of diabetes among Native Americans, and a great demand for that type of care.
Yet Rotin always had a yen to return to the I.V., a desire that was finally realized when she joined the AllCare staff in August of this year.
Rotin stated that among the challenges of being a PA in the I.V. is connecting people with specialist care.
“There’s the distance patients have to go to see specialists. We don’t have access here like you do in big cities. Sometimes I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall trying to connect people to services. But it’s also rewarding.“
According to Rotin, her patients often tell her that she spends more time with them than an MD typically does. She always takes the time to take a history, so that she gets a clear picture of what’s going on.
“I try to listen to the patient first, and ask questions and listen to their answers. One time I had a patient play me a song that he wrote.”
There have been some big changes in the medical field over the years that Rotin has practiced. For one, there has been a substantial increase in paperwork. Chart notes are now pages and pages long. Another change is that the family doctor no longer follows their patients in the hospital. Now they have hospitalists, in-hospital doctors, who do that. Another change is that PAs and nurse practitioners (NPs) no longer need to be supervised by an MD. But Rotin stressed that she and the NP at AllCare often consult with each other on challenging cases.
Rotin is accepting new patients. To made an appointment, call 541-450-3625.