On Friday, May 5, the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Class of 2023 will receive their diplomas at the Northrop Auditorium, officially becoming doctors after years of hard work and dedication. 

As they move forward, the next step for these newly graduated physicians is to enter a residency program, where they will gain practical experience treating patients. 

The University of Minnesota Physicians (M Physicians) Broadway Family Medicine Clinic, located in North Minneapolis and in partnership with North Memorial Health, offers a residency program focused on underserved and international medicine, sports medicine, research, osteopathic medicine, reproductive health and procedures. 

Meet two of the incoming residents, Fredrick Blaisdell, MD, and Ian Durbin, MD, who will be joining the M Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic team.

Fredrick Blaisdell, MD:

Hometown: Dearborn Heights, MI 

What led you to pursue becoming a doctor?

I'm from the Oneida Nation of the Thames near London, Ontario, Canada. My grandparents moved to Detroit during the urbanization of Native people in the 60s and were advocates for the local Native community. They helped organize American Indian Health and Family Services, which provides medical, youth, behavioral health and community services to underserved communities in southeastern Michigan and Detroit. I grew up there as part of the Dream Seekers youth program, was a patient at the medical clinic and had the chance to shadow a family doctor. I admired the long-term relationships they made with patients, the variety of conditions they treated and the role they served in the community, which inspired me to pursue medicine. My family and community members also encouraged me to become a healer.

You chose family medicine as your specialty. How come?

Being a patient at American Indian Health and Family Services inspired me to pursue medicine due to seeing the challenges my family had with the limited access to health insurance and the difficulties in accessing certain care. After completing my undergraduate degree, I worked there as a medical case manager, helping patients access resources and find specialty physicians. I also volunteered for the youth group and attended community events. I enjoyed working with patients of all ages and the variety of concerns we helped with. I believe that family medicine allows me to use my skills to help the most number of people and be involved in the community that I serve, which is important to me. My experiences in medical school only solidified my interest and passion for family medicine. During my first clinical rotation as a medical student, I learned with Dr. Arne Vainio at Min No Aya Win clinic in Cloquet, MN. We treated three generations of a family in one exam room, an experience unique to family medicine that I hope to see again someday! 

What are you looking forward to at the M Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic in the next three years?

I'm excited to work with the great faculty at the clinic and hospital and to grow as a medical professional. I want to keep community service and mentorship as a major part of my education, and I'm looking forward to getting involved with the Broadway group's community engagement and mentoring local youth. I'm also passionate about addiction medicine, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to work with faculty who share that passion and expertise at Broadway Family Medicine Clinic. Bringing addiction medicine services to a community someday is a goal of mine.

​​What is your superpower? 

I pride myself on my ability to listen, which has been instilled in me by my family and elders. Listening is important not only in medicine but also in all aspects of relationships with people. A Cayuga elder once shared a traditional teaching with me that the Creator gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason, and I always try to keep that in mind.

Ian Durbin, MD: 

Hometown:  Ham Lake, MN

What led you to pursue becoming a doctor?

I'd say the seed was planted early. I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's growing up, and there was a constant discussion between our family and my grandmother about her smoking. It became a family joke that she would not see a doctor until her grandson eventually became one. I felt I grew more passionate over time about accompanying people in their health journey and doing so in a more cooperative and non-judgmental way. That's what brought me to apply to medical school.

You chose family medicine as your specialty. How come?

I always knew that I wanted to go into primary care. My first rotation in medical school was in family medicine at Broadway. At the end of that month, it affirmed my interest in family medicine. It made me excited about pursuing a career where I can build and develop growing relationships with my patients, and it's also a specialty that's uniquely positioned to adapt to the needs of its community. Some examples would be providing better access to women's health interventions and treatment for opioid use disorder.

What are you looking forward to at the M Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic in the next three years?

I'm excited to dive into family medicine and be part of a group of dedicated residents and faculty who are passionate about improving the lives of their community both inside and outside the clinic. I'm also looking forward to being involved in advocacy initiatives. The program’s dedication to mitigating social determinants of health was a major draw for me. Additionally, sports played a big role in my growth as a young person, both in self-actualization and working in a team. For me, being involved in sports medicine allows me to give back to that community which greatly shaped who I am today.

What is your superpower? 

I would say my superpower is prioritization. I believe that when I invest my time, talent and treasure, I try and do my best to dedicate it to the most important or pressing matters in order to have the greatest possible impact.