Everyone likes the opportunity to try something on before they buy it. Whether it’s a new car or new shoes, the fit needs to feel right.
In the case of Charlie Rasmussen, D.O., the new family practice and obstetrics physician at Texas County Memorial Hospital, both Rasmussen and the hospital got to “try each other on.” Just like a comfortable pair of new shoes, the hospital and Rasmussen fit.
Rasmussen signed a four-year contract in January to work with TCMH as a family practice and obstetrics physician. Rasmussen begins seeing patients at the TCMH Family Clinic Aug. 6.
“The main things about TCMH that really attracted me to coming here to work were friendly people, employees that did a good job and everyone being easy to work with,” Rasmussen said. “Patients are always placed first at the hospital, and that’s very important to me.”
Rasmussen grew up Cameron, a small northwest Missouri town. Cameron boasted a population of about 4,500 people during Rasmussen’s formative years, and Cameron was typical of many small Midwestern towns with the rural “do everything” doctor that even delivered Rasmussen’s youngest brother.
Out of high school, Rasmussen went to Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, where he obtained degrees in psychology and biology.
“I wasn’t sure what do out of college,” Rasmussen explained.
He took a job working for Cox Hospital in Springfield as a phlebotomist and emergency medical technician where he had the opportunity to experience many types of jobs in healthcare. At Cox, an emergency room physician encouraged Rasmussen to consider a career in the medical field.
From Springfield, Rasmussen went to Kansas City were worked for the city’s health department.
“Working every day in an office in Kansas City solidified that I didn’t want to do this for the rest of my life,” Rasmussen said with grin.
He was still looking for his right “fit.”
Rasmussen attended medical school at the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, then went back to Springfield to complete his medical training at the Cox Family Medicine Residency program.
In his three-year residency program, Rasmussen trained to be the “do everything” doctor he knew and saw as a kid in Cameron. His residency program included training in obstetrics with cesarean section surgery, emergency room medicine, internal medicine, sports medicine and inpatient and outpatient care from birth to end of life. Rasmussen did residency rotations in remote locations like Montana and Alaska. He also served as the chief resident during his time in the Cox residency program.
When it came time to find a practice of his own, Rasmussen and Stacey, his wife of two years, looked everywhere-as far away as Colorado and Montana to nearby locales like Kansas and Branson.
Rasmussen had the opportunity to try out TCMH in December 2005 when he began moonlighting in the emergency department one weekend a month. As Rasmussen was looking for a family practice position in a small town, TCMH was looking to add a family practice physician to the Family Clinic in Houston. TCMH and Rasmussen found the right fit.
Wes Murray, chief executive officer at the hospital, is excited about the addition of Rasmussen to the TCMH medical staff.
“We are so fortunate to have someone of Dr. Rasmussen’s training and abilities come to our area,” Murray said. “He has an energy and willingness to care for patients that is refreshing to witness in action.”
Murray and Rasmussen have discussed using the hospital as a site for a rural rotation for various medical residency programs in the area.
“With Dr. Rasmussen, we gain a new level of exposure to students, residents and physicians,” Murray said, adding that Rasmussen’s work with residents at TCMH would be “very positive for the hospital’s ongoing recruiting efforts”.
Rasmussen noted about his decision, “The hospital seems like it’s headed in the right direction, and the community seems like a good place to live and raise a family.”
As the TCMH small town “do everything” doctor, Rasmussen wants to see patients of all ages with a variety of medical concerns. He has a special interest in two specific fields-sports medicine and obstetrics.
“I played football, basketball and baseball in school, so I understand a lot about the athlete, sports and the problems that arise,” Rasmussen said. He also did additional training in his residency program related to sports medicine.
“Obstetrics provides a strong one on one experience with the patient, and I like being able to provide continuity of care,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen finds the birth of a child to be an “amazing process” that is emotional and joyful for everyone involved.
“I want to see a mother through pregnancy and birth, then continue to care for the mother and the child afterward,” Rasmussen said.
In addition to seeing patients at the TCMH Family Clinic in Houston, Rasmussen will do stress testing at the hospital and continue to provide occasional coverage in the hospital emergency department.
The Rasmussens have purchased land in Texas County and plan to build a home after he settles into his new job. His wife is originally from the St. Louis area, so she and her husband both have family members nearby.
The Rasmussens are St. Louis Cardinals fans, and they enjoy outdoor activities like biking, water skiing, snow skiing and doing stuff with their dogs.
Recently, the Rasmussen’s three dog family grew to four. They are providing a “temporary home” for the fourth pooch. Charlie Rasmussen laughed when he mentioned the fourth dog; he already knows these temporary arrangements can become like shoe – a comfortable fit.