July 23, 2007

Dassel PA says 'goodbye'

Physician Assistant Trish Olson will miss Dassel’s character and personality

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

After 12 years at the Dassel Medical Center, Physician Assistant Trish Olson is saying her goodbyes and taking with her fond memories.

It was a very difficult decision, Olson is retiring from DMC, with Tuesday being her last day of practice.

“My practice ends here and it’s the best place to end it,” Olson said.

Olson began her career after graduating from the University of Wisconsin’s physician assistant program in 1980 practicing at a rural health clinic in Wisconsin.

Her work consisted of assisting in major and minor surgeries, making hospital rounds, being on call two days a week and every other weekend, delivering babies, making rounds at the nursing home, and being the deputy coroner.

Then, Olson and her family moved to Savage, Minnesota in 1984 where she worked in family practice in the cities.

Olson missed rural health care and decided to accept a position in Dassel in 1995.

“I never regretted a moment of it,” she said.

In Dassel, Olson worked in family practice and emergency medicine in an array of health situations including, heart attacks, obstetrics, minor surgeries, fractures, removal of skin lesions, and X-rays.

What she will miss most about her practice in Dassel are the people and the countryside.

“I will miss the character and personality of Dassel residents,” Olson said.

She enjoyed rural Dassel and the farming community.

“Especially the changes of the season as the farmers put fields to sleep in the fall and wake them up in the spring,” Olson said.

As for her patients, they will miss one another.

“We’ve had very sad goodbyes,” she said.

Olson does ensure that the clinic is in good hands with Mike Long PA and Tim Rempel MD. The clinic is also in the process of hiring another provider to takeover for Olson.

Olson is a bit disappointed that she had little time to enjoy the new clinic, but now that it has been obtained, which she had prayed for, she can fulfill her family’s request.

“It’s very hard to say goodbye, but age tells me it’s time,” Olson said.

Her plans in retirement include taking a novel writing course, volunteering through her church, traveling around the US, and spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

What is a PA?

Physician assistants are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician and usually have six years of schooling, according to Olson.

The PA program began with Dr. Eugene Stead of the Duke University Medical Center in 1965. In his first class, he had selected highly trained Navy corpsmen who had medic training during the Vietnam War but no civilian training.

Stead did this in case of a shortage in primary care physicians.

This was done with the approval of the American Medical Association and under the physician model, Olson said.

Goodbye open house

To say goodbye and also celebrate Olson’s time at the Dassel Medical Center, they are hosting a retirement party Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. with cake, punch and coffee to be served.

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