By Pat Caldwell
ONTARIO — Daisy Miller is right where she wants to be.
The newest family practice and obstetrics physician at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario said she chose the local area because of her rural heritage.
“I’m a farm kid. I like small towns. It is what I know. I wanted to serve a community like where I grew up,” said Miller.
Miller joined Saint Alphonsus in August after finishing her three-year residency in Evansville, Ind.
She discovered the Treasure Valley by accident.
“I came out to visit a friend that lives in Boise and I thought this is very similar to Colorado — but without all the people,” said Miller.
Miller grew up just outside of Jewell, a small town in central Iowa with a population of about 1,000.
Another reason drew her to Saint Alphonsus.
“I wanted to go somewhere I could do a strong OB practice,” said Miller.
Miller said the bond between an OB and a pregnant patient is unique. She said as a doctor, she is involved in the lives of the mother and baby sometimes for years.
“You get that continuity with the patient, from a baby I deliver to 2 ½ years and running around,” said Miller.
Miller had plenty of life experiences before she made the decision to become a doctor.
She joined the Iowa National Guard as a youth and became a medic. She eventually deployed to Kosovo in the Balkan Peninsula as part of a U.S. peacekeeping mission.
Miller graduated with a bachelor’s degree in exercise sports science from Iowa State University in 2006 and realized she wanted to become a doctor. But that also meant completing prerequisite classes such as biochemistry, organic chemistry and physics.
She entered medical school at Des Moines University in 2010, which she found difficult but success was “about being persistent.”
Miller said she is smitten with the small-town feel of Ontario.
“People here make you part of the community. It’s that small-town friendliness you expect. People are very kind,” said Miller.
Her job at Saint Alphonsus fits nicely into her goal of practicing rural medicine, which traces back to her childhood memories of the town physician – “the one doctor in town who took care of everyone.”
She said, “You know, that’s what I want to do. I wanted to provide a service in a community that needs me,” said Miller.
Have a news tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected] or (541) 473-3377
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