Being a physician in a small university town has some major advantages, say the citys two newest family medicine doctors.
When Anastasia Searcy, DO, and Stephen Njagi, MD, started their practice at the Sanford Clinic Vermillion last summer, they expected that the city, which is home to the University of South Dakota, would be a good place to enjoy cultural and educational opportunities. Both doctors say that they love their new home, where theyve been quickly embraced by patients and colleagues.
The people here are so welcoming and easy to get along with, said Dr. Njagi. It has been a wonderful experience for me. My patients even will invite me to their birthday parties.
Dr. Searcy, who grew up near Sioux Center, IA, said she was happy to be able to locate in the region where her husband had already been working over the past year. Together, they enjoy all the
amenities of the university, which has been part of the city of Vermillion since 1862, including theater and performing arts events. The citys population is ideal for a family practice doctor who sees patients of all ages and all stages of life.
I see everything from the beginning of life to the end, Dr. Searcy said. Theres so much variety here.
Njagi, who went to medical school in Eldoret, Kenya, says that his wife and two young daughters have quickly grown to love the community because of how hospitable people have been. His family has had many new experiences, including his work as team physician for the USD Football Team a job he took without ever having played, or even seen, much football. He likes to joke with players that he plays soccer, but never football.
It was something Id never done before, but as soon as the first few games were going, I thought, Im beginning to understand this. Now, I really like it, Dr. Njagi said. My family has been able to attend the games, which they enjoy.
Both physicians say they enjoy the variety of the facilities at the Sanford Medical Center, which includes a family medicine clinic, 25-bed critical access hospital, 66-bed nursing home and 23-unit senior living apartment complex. Services within the clinic include the following:
Womens Health Obstetrics
I like having it all in one location. During the day I can see patients and then run over to the hospital and deliver a baby, said Dr. Searcy. Its a very efficient staff, a good staff, and everything you need is right here.
As family practice physicians, both doctors say they appreciate having good access to outreach physicians from Sioux Falls and the surrounding area. Patients who may need to see a specialist, such as a cardiologist, can do that in the Vermillion clinic without having to travel out of town. Theyve seen their numbers of patients increasing, with obstetric patients driving much of the growth.
I can see our practice growing, Searcy said. When youre doing obstetrics and you are treating more young families, it helps the practice grow quickly.