Connection is the Universal Language

Dr. Melanie Rausche
Family Medicine Physician

Treating the Person

For some, the journey into the medical profession is a metaphorical one. For others, like Melanie Rausche, family medicine doctor with the Colorado Permanente Medical Group (CPMG), the journey is, well – a little more literal.

A healthy sense of adventure and a passion for working with diverse populations has taken Dr. Rausche from residency in the heart of New York City to a hospital in tropical Far North Queensland, Australia to her current position at Kaiser Permanente’s East Denver Medical Offices. Yet, whether treated in an exotic or urban location, people are at the heart of Rausche’s practice.

“The bottom line is that – whether it’s an aborigine in Australia who’s just on a walkabout though your town and comes in with a foot infection or a young person in Colorado who comes in to follow up on a ski injury – it’s still a person. The key to any successful practice is connecting with your patients. Once you make that connection, you can be your most successful at taking care of them.”

Building Connections

From a very young age, Dr. Rausche not only knew that she wanted to be a doctor, but also exactly what kind of doctor she wanted to be.

“I was 6 when I decided I wanted to be a doctor. My pediatrician at the time just really scared me. So, after one particular visit, I told my mom that, when I grew up, I wanted to be a doctor that kids weren’t afraid of. I’m stubborn so I stuck with it.”

The nature of family medicine coupled with shared experience has helped her keep that promise to her younger self. Dr. Rausche, herself the mother of two young children, has a personal understanding of the communication hurdles you have to overcome when working with children and families, as well as the unique role mothers play in the health decisions of their families. Communication, understanding and trust help her better connect with her patients and that, as she has discovered, has been the most rewarding part of her medical practice.

“After four years at the East Denver clinic, I’m to the point where I feel like I know my patients and their families well and that’s really the most rewarding part. The relationships, getting to hear their stories, getting to know them as people, being part of their lives, and sometimes even, in a sense, part of their families.”

Ready for Anything

“I was in medical school, and, at the time, interested in pediatrics. It wasn’t until a conversation with my own family doctor that I really considered family medicine. He told me, ‘I get to be the jack of all trades. Now I’m doing a physical for a med student, next I’ll be seeing a newborn baby, then after that I’ll have a 78-year-old with cardiac issues…’ And that really appealed to me – the diversity of experience.”

This interest has served her well in her transcontinental medical journey. Out of necessity, she’s learned to be ready for anything – a skill that comes in handy when working with patients of all ages and backgrounds.

“I’ve had to learn how to adapt to the different places I’ve worked. In Australia, I worked with viruses I’d never even heard of previously, and, of course, there are about a million different animals that can kill you – from jellyfish to poisonous snakes. But I also had to adapt to the communities and culture I was in. And, even though my typical day there – or even in New York, for that matter – wasn’t that different than it is here at CPMG, it taught me to be resourceful. Because, at the end of the day, no matter where you are, people are people and it’s my job to help them.”

 

Learn more about why Dr. Rausche enjoys working for CPMG.

Learn more about working for CPMG.