For Kacey Justesen, MD, there is nothing like taking care of a woman during a pregnancy, delivering her baby, and then continuing to care for mom, baby, and everyone else in the family for years to come. That’s what she loves about being a family medicine physician—providing a continuity of care throughout patients’ lives, no matter the setting or concern.
When a patient from her Broadway Family Medicine Clinic is at North Memorial Health Hospital, Justesen cares for them and brings the extra comfort of a familiar doctor. Or when a hospital patient comes for a follow-up visit, Justesen provides excellent care because she already knows the person’s history, home circumstances, and challenges.
“In family medicine and at the Broadway clinic, we really strive to provide care across the hospital and clinic lines,” Justesen says. “Providing that care is rich in building relationships, compassion, and trust that go such a long way toward keeping people healthy.”
Justesen serves as director of the North Memorial Family Medicine Program, which trains residents at the hospital and the Broadway clinic. She spent 12 years in private practice before joining University of Minnesota Physicians five years ago, realizing that her favorite work days were ones she spent mentoring the family medicine residents. She is also a member of the University of Minnesota Physicians Governance Board.
They are so engaged and enthusiastic, their excitement for learning is infectious. “I love nothing more than when the residents ask me a question that I don’t know the answer to, and together we go find the answer,” Justesen says. “I really value that I get to be part of this learning process for new physicians who are just starting their careers.”
Justesen also looks out for residents’ health and wellbeing. She serves on the University of Minnesota’s Resident Wellness Taskforce to help trainees find support during this intense, stressful time of their lives. In turn, this helps them sustain their ability to provide excellent patient care.
Justesen’s teaching includes guidance in building strong patient relationships and connecting to the community. She also advocates for providing well-rounded patient care. At Broadway, patients can see care coordinators, pharmacists, psychologists, and others to help with various challenges, whether it be treatment for opioid addiction or finding enough healthy food. The clinic also partners with numerous organizations to help the broader community.
“We like to reach outside of our clinic walls, recognizing that everyone can’t always come to see us,” Justesen says. “Sometimes we need to get out a little bit and meet patients where they are.”