ACMC Offers Flexibility for my Medical Career and Family

Published in Medical Professionals Tag: Michelle Cilek, MD  

I start my day at 5:30 am with a cup of coffee relaxing, thinking about the events of the day while listening to the still of the house. As the pitter patter of little feet come down the hall, the mom hat goes on as I help my boys Camden (7) and Kilen (5) get ready for their day of school. I make them breakfast and grab their backpacks; the boys eat and they are off for the school bus. Whew! After a busy morning, it’s off to ACMC-Redwood Falls where I’m Dr. Michelle Cilek, ready to see my patients.

A short experience led me home

I first came to Redwood Falls as a third-year medical school student under the Rural Physicians Associate Program (RPAP). Dr. Kurt Angstman (who has since moved out of Redwood Falls) and Dr. Steven Medrud were my preceptors while I was a student. I stayed in touch with both of them as I went through medical school and residency. When it was time for me to decide where to practice, Dr. Angstman suggested I come to Redwood Falls. From my RPAP experience, I knew I really liked ACMC as an organization and liked the providers at the Redwood Falls clinic, so I gave it a try. My plan was to be here for six months as a locums physician and then move to California. Instead, I met my husband, started a family and twelve years later I’m still here!

The reason I stayed in Redwood Falls is because I like how I get to practice medicine here.  I’m not limited at all and can provide a full range of family medicine services. I also get to do obstetrics, which is my favorite part of my practice. I enjoy the variety and I know I might not get that if I were in a metro area. Redwood Falls is a great community; my practice is busy and I am able to get to know my patients on a more personal level because I see them at church, my children’s activities and more. I really enjoy my partners and the nurses I work with and I also do things with them socially. So for me, ACMC isn’t just a place that I call work.

The ACMC physicians work closely with the local hospital and they are very supportive of our needs. I go to the hospital when I am on-call or as my patients are admitted; I also deliver my own patients and assist with C-sections if the need arises.  The nurses and staff there are great to work with. They are very caring, compassionate people and I feel that for a small community, both organizations do a great job of meeting the needs of our patients.

Flexibility for my family

ACMC also offers me the flexibility that I am looking for right now as I am raising my family.  I try to wear all the hats that I can on any given day. I’m thankful that I am able to adjust my schedule when needed so that I can see most of an event the boys might have during the day, or can work through lunch to get to a soccer game.

Dr. Michelle Cilek with her husband Shawn and her boys Camden and Kilen

My family is a very important part of my life! I have a wonderful husband, Shawn, who is very supportive. We tag team with the kids, as he is busy teaching and coaching. When we need help my mom lives only 45 minutes away in Tracy where I grew up or Shawn’s mom comes down from the cities. We have a great support system!

When we aren’t busy with our careers, we enjoy the quietness of our home in the country. We live in a great neighborhood where the boys can ride bike and mingle with the neighbors who spoil them like they are their own. I continue to try my thumb in gardening, like to scrapbook pictures of my boys and do some sewing and quilting.  The boys love to play board games, do puzzles or build with Legos so we spend quite a bit of family time doing that.& I never knew Legos were so much fun!

I love being a doctor and I love being in the clinic where I am with people; I could never be a bench top researcher. Helping people in times of crisis or praising them when they are making healthy choices in their lives gives me great satisfaction. I get a pure sense of joy as I follow a mother through her pregnancy, help to deliver her baby, and follow that child through the years. But at the end of the day, my biggest sense of accomplishment is being with my husband and two boys as we watch them grow.