Health Notes: Doc on the moveDr. Kevin Murphy’s itinerary sounds like a Minnesota travelogue.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Dr. Kevin Murphy’s itinerary sounds like a Minnesota travelogue.
“Today we’re sitting up in Roseau, 10 miles from the Canadian border,” Murphy said during a telephone interview on Tuesday. “We’ll be driving through Warroad tonight, and we’ll be down to Aurora tomorrow. … And then we’ll be in St. Paul on Thursday and Friday, and then back to Duluth.”
Murphy said he actually is on the road less these days than in his early days with Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare’s Duluth Clinic. The clinic’s staff has grown in the 13 years since it began in his home, he said.
Still, Murphy, 56, is on the road a lot. Although he spends about half of his time in Duluth, much of the rest is spent in clinics throughout northern Minnesota. He also spends four days a month in Bismarck, N.D., and another three days in St. Paul.
Murphy is a pediatric physiatrist, or, in simpler terms, a physical medicine rehabilitation doctor for children. For Murphy, as for the St. Paul-based Gillette Children’s in general, the practice is about treating children with specialty conditions throughout their lifetimes. Examples of those conditions include spina bifida, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.
Pediatric physiatrists are spread thin in rural areas. In all of North Dakota, for instance, there is only one doctor besides Murphy with the specialty, he said. He travels so patients’ families don’t have to travel as far.
“If you expect all the kids to travel to the Twin Cities, you’ll miss half of your patients,” he said.
The Duluth clinic, in Suite 210 of the Lakewalk Center, 1420 London Road, is celebrating its 13th anniversary from 3:30 to
4:30 p.m. on Monday. There will be refreshments, a program and a tour, but the underlying purpose is to highlight Gillette’s “Cure Pity” campaign.
The campaign seeks to teach the public not to treat people who have disabilities with pity.
“These kids and adults really don’t want pity,” Murphy said. “They just want to feel good about how they were made.”