Monday, February 26, 2018

Willow Creek Spotlight- Dr. Sorenson

Carly Sorenson, DO

How long have you been at Willow Creek?
I actually started out at Willow Creek as a patient!  My sister and I saw Dr. Jopling for a time when we were growing up.  One of my favorite things was looking at the picture collages of his family and patients in his exam rooms in the old office.  I actually found a picture of myself playing soccer with his daughter, Jenn, one time -  I was so excited!
Now, it’s really special to be able to return to Willow Creek as a pediatrician myself – it completes the circle.  There aren’t many doctors who get the experience of practicing at a clinic they once went to, and it’s very fulfilling for me to be able to serve patients in the community I grew up in.  On top of that, it is such a special office.  You feel it as a patient, and I look forward to providing that now as one of its doctors and carrying on Willow Creek’s tradition of exceptional care.  One of the highlights of my career will always be being able to work alongside Dr. Jopling, who has been an important mentor to me throughout my life, as I know he has been for so many of his patients. 
What does the DO behind your name mean?
The DO stands for Doctor of Osteopathic medicine (not to be confused with an OD, which is a Doctor of Optometry or eye doctor).  DOs are another type of medical doctor.   We are trained in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine as opposed to the allopathic (or MD) philosophy of medicine.  Like MDs, DOs go to medical school, can specialize and practice in any medical specialty, prescribe medications, or perform procedures/surgery.
How are DOs different than MDs?
Basically, the founding philosophies of osteopathic and allopathic medicine are different.  As modern medicine has evolved, patient care models and doctors’ approaches to medicine have also changed due to advancements in technology and understanding.  So, some of the historical differences have become more blended, but DOs traditionally have a patient-centered, holistic approach to care.  They also tend to have an emphasis on preventive medicine and restoring the body’s natural, optimal state of structure and function. 
One of the other major differences is that DOs receive training in osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT).  OMT is a hands-on approach to diagnosing, treating, and preventing illness or injury.  We are trained to use OMT alone or in conjunction with conventional treatments or medications to help the body heal itself.  Broadly, the easiest way to explain is that there are some OMT techniques that people may find similar to techniques used by physical therapists, chiropractors, or massage therapists.  Some DOs do more or less OMT, depending on their specialty, practice, and personal preference. 
Why did you choose to become a DO?
I chose to become a DO because the osteopathic philosophy resonated more with my own philosophy of medicine.  I felt like it fit my personality better and also embraced the type of physician I wanted to be.  I also really liked the idea of learning a skill, like OMT, in which I could help people directly with my own hands.  
As an osteopathic pediatrician, my approach to patient care centers on looking at the whole child, not just their symptoms, when determining diagnosis and treatment.  Body, mind, spirit, relationships, and environments all play a role, and I’m considering each of those aspects in my office visits.  In addition, one of the big tenants of the osteopathic philosophy is that all parts of the body work together and influence one another.  My focus, as a DO, is restoring balance within the body for healing and empowering patients to live healthy lifestyles to prevent illness and injury. 
What’s your favorite color?
Blue.  For a while, I felt like I needed to pick a new favorite color and branch out.  But, I always came back to blue!  My closet is a perfect example - I definitely have the most clothes in my blue section (yes, my closet is organized by color – but that’s another story).  Cobalt blue is probably my favorite.  Navy is a close second.
What are your hobbies?
I’d say, in general, I’m drawn to doing creative things.  Seems like I always have an ongoing project of some sort – scrapbooking or making photo books, trying out new baking recipes, or taking fun classes.  My favorite class was a pottery class I took last year.  I had always wanted to learn how to throw on a wheel, and I’m so glad I finally did it!  Tap dancing and getting back to playing the violin are also on my list, so we’ll see what happens next.

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