Member of the Week: Dr. Andrew Garrison

Practice: I work with Community Health Centers, Inc (CHC), as a physician, and also serve as CHC’s medical director. CHC is Utah’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center, with around 40 providers historically serving around 50,000 patients. Our practice is focused on caring for the underserved; 50+% of my patients do not have insurance, 60+% are served in a language other than English, and nearly all are below the federal poverty line. I split my clinical time between outpatient clinic, and doing deliveries (including C-sections) and newborn care at the University of Utah and LDS Hospitals.

Residency: University of Utah

Have you completed any additional fellowships or training? Family medicine obstetrics fellowship.

A bit about Dr. Garrison: I grew up in New Jersey but have always loved mountains. After undergrad in New Hampshire, I spent a year through a volunteer program working at a rural hospital in western Alaska. There were no roads in or out; one traveled by plane, snowmobile, or boat. This experience kindled my interest in family medicine and after med school at Duke, I came west to Utah with my now wife Courtney (who’s an ob-gyn at the U). We trained at the U and then spent 3 years working on the Blackfeet Reservation in northwest Montana. This was traditional rural family medicine, where I worked in clinic, the emergency department, did deliveries, inpatient medicine and pediatrics, and even nursing home care and home visits. While I loved the work, we had our twins (now 11 years old) in Montana, and found it challenging to parent young kids without a group of close friends and family nearby. We returned to Salt Lake in 2013 and it’s now home. Like many Utahns I love playing outside, be it skiing, hiking, biking, trail running. My 11 year old daughter is an avid ballet dancer which means I, too, have become a fan of ballet.

What keeps you passionate about family medicine? To quote Paul Farmer, “Doing hard things with friends.” Family medicine in any setting is challenging, especially in underserved settings. Embracing this challenge, and trying to rise to the occasion, has kept me enthusiastic for patient care. I’m also lucky to have as partners a group of inspiring and dedicated providers.

What do you wish you’d known when graduating from med school? Better Spanish!

Where will we find you on your day off? Playing in the Wasatch, or listening to live music

What are you…
watching right now: Money Heist on Netflix
reading right now: Should We Stay or Should We Go by Lionel Shriver
listening to right now: The band Bleachers