Faculty

Balasubrahmanyan_Ravi100x131

Ravi Balasubrahmanyan

Ravi was born in Calcutta, India (City of Joy). He was an aspiring cricketer until the age of six, when he was transported to an alien land...

where his native Tamil was never heard and cricket was an insect. Once here he had a perpetual identity crisis, as no American could pronounce his name or look at it without going weak at the knees, until one kindly old gentleman bestowed upon him the name of Bowl of Soup and Onions (Balasubrahmanyan.) With this new title, he went on to medical school. In typical third year turmoil, he tried his hand at the monastic life. After one summer he decided family practice was the life for him. After medical school he left Baltimore and his beloved Orioles to begin residency in Michigan. Internship began with a bang July 1st, being on call for the entire hospital.

During residency he discovered there was a world outside of medical life through his involvement in Physicians for Social Responsibility and being a board member of the Local Peace and Justice Committee. Ravi finished residency with the dubious honor of being the worst dressed and having the most cluttered desk in the history of the program. Ravi joined a three-person practice in a small coastal town in Massachusetts, where patient visits occurred as often in the local grocery store as in the office. For 1 1/2 years his car could be heard puttering around town on house calls. Following the northern lights and the allure of his "Ole" wife, he came to the Twin Cities. Now a family man with two energetic boys, he enjoys running, baseball, tennis and "cricket anyone?" Education:


Medical School: University of Maryland
Residency: Michigan State University Hospital
Board Certified: Family Practice 

bucher david100x131

David Bucher, MD

David Bucher, MD, grew up as a city kid in a farm state – Cedar Falls, Bettendorf (Quad Cities), and Windsor Heights (Des Moines), Iowa. Yep, dad was a lifer with John Deere… 

thus the various venues. The University of Iowa was my home for seven years for undergrad and medical school (thanks to Early Decision at U of I), then off to Kansas City for residency. Finding the summers and severe weather (and relative conservatism) anathema to my progressive upbringing, when Minnesota called, I answered. Having practiced with diverse private groups in the Twin Cities metro area over the years, I then tried a big health system, but found declining meaning for my daily work with emphasis on productivity, and declining interest in patient’s individual needs.

I had participated in teaching residents and students since my first year in practice as a “clinical”, then “adjunct” faculty at the University of Minnesota. Teaching nourishes my soul, so in the winter of 2006-07 when an opportunity to join the faculty at the United Family Medicine residency program arose, I checked it out. The call and drive to teach was clear to me. I am pleased and excited to be joining the faculty. I hope to bring my interests in Sports Medicine, Dermatology, and GLBT health care to the practice and the residents. I look forward to time to participate in bike tours, triathlons, and travel with my partner.

Education: Medical School: University of Iowa
Residency: Baptist Medical Center Family Practice Residency Program
Board Certified: Family Medicine 

Jonathan Dickman

Jonathan Dickman, MD, PhD

Jonathan was born and raised in Saint Paul, MN and, as the youngest child, was always was trying to...  

get attention growing up. He was part of the first graduating class at Expo Elementary and during his time there he lobbied hard (although unsuccessfully) to make the giraffe the school mascot. He was determined to have everyone notice his (lack of) basketball skills when decided to take his talents to JCC basketball after missing the first cut at Ramsey Junior High School. He then moved on to Central High School and was in for a rude awakening when he found out that his chin length hair was not enough to get him the attention he needed to join the "cool" group.

After graduating high school, Jonathan spent the next 13 years attending the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He refused to grow up and get a job for many years as he decided to pursue both MD and PhD degrees. During his tenure, he taped ankles and treated injuries as an athletic trainer, played with centrifuges in the lab and explored every inch of each library to keep studying exciting. During his last 18 months he was in Milwaukee as he participated in the Training In Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH) program and helped create a network of Little Free Libraries in the city. Most importantly, while in WI he met his wife (Maggie) and his son (Joseph) was born (in the same hospital as his two older sisters!).

United Family Medicine Residency was in for a surprise when Jonathan showed up and they learned (too late) that he had a combination being both opinionated and hard headed. He pursued his interests of resource mapping, research, ultrasound, addiction medicine and procedures during his tenure and behaved just well enough to be allowed to stay for a 4th year of Mastery. His daughter (Rachel) was born during residency where his fellow residents completed all prenatal care and assisted with the delivery. After his 4th year, Jonathan stealthy moved into a desk downstairs and never left. When the residency realized that he wasn't leaving, they graciously gave him a job.

Jonathan is now proud to practice full scope family medicine with OB and has particular interests in addiction care / medication assisted treatment, ultrasound and procedures. He enjoys fostering the growth of family medicine residents and is happy to constantly be surrounded by providers that are smarter than him. He cannot thank his wife, two children and the rest of his family enough for putting up with him all of these years.

giffin joel100x131

Joel Giffin, DO

Joel Giffin, DO, was born and raised in Wisconsin. After a failed attempt at a high school athletic career, he was excited to start college at UW-Madison... 

In college, Joel became active in student government and local politics and gained an interest in public service. After graduation, he joined Teach For America and taught seventh grade science for two years in rural Louisiana.

After deciding that he wasn't quite compatible with the heat and humidity of Louisiana, he moved to rural West Virginia to attend medical school. In West Virginia, he solidified his passions for providing medical care to underserved communities and practicing Family Medicine.

Yearning for his Midwestern roots, he moved to Minnesota and attended residency at the United Family Medicine Residency Program. Joel now enjoys spending time with his wife Carrie, playing with his nieces and nephews, going on bike rides, camping, and hiking. His medical interests include collaborating with patients to treat their complex chronic medical problems, health care for the homeless, quality improvement, adolescent medicine, and sports medicine - figuring if you can't play sports, you might as well treat those who can!

Education: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine  
Residency: United Family Medicine Residency Program  
Board Certified: Family Practice

 

Katie Guthrie, MD

Katie debuted on the West Coast as the oldest of five oil company brats, migrating between the Midwest and New England. After finishing medical school in Washington, D.C., during the heat of Watergate… 

she developed significant heat intolerance and moved to the cooler climate of St. Paul, where she completed a family practice residency at St. Paul Ramsey in 1979. There she met, and eventually married, her intern. After a rural rotation in Long Prairie, MN, she opened her suburban New York eyes to the joys of rural private practice, she and husband John, moved North to Deer River, MN, and worked together in a Northern Exposure practice for 14 years. She migrated back to suburbia in 1994.

In her other lifetime, she contemplated marine biology, having been voted the person most likely to “grow gills” on an Earthwatch project, and dance/choreography, galley wench, and is one of the fluting faculty. Instead, she has been cultivating an Auntie Mame in medicine approach, with on-going experimentation on the effects of bright colors on patients and colleagues.

Practice interests include: women’s health care, zebra hunting, community health education, cardiovascular risk reduction, and healing ministry. Long term goals include: early childhood parenting and practice-based research.

Education: Medical School: Georgetown University
Residency: St. Paul Ramsey
Board Certified: Family Practice

sharma himanshu100x131

Sharma Himanshu, MD

Ten Things To Know About Himanshu Sharma, MD: Favorite quote from Sherlock Holmes, “Our brain capacity is limited, if something goes in, something else has to come out.” … 

Medical school in India, Residency in Minnesota, Fellowship in California, Electives in the UK – Australia

  • One of the very, very few Indians, who can speak German, and getting better at speaking “Minnesotan”. (Yeah, you betcha!)
  • Immediately after an OB delivery, one should sing “Happy Birthday” to the newborn, as that is the only true birthday
  • Nerdy hobbies: crosswords, reading and more reading, trivia, chess. Non-nerdy hobbies: swimming, traveling, and table tennis
  • Nerdy trivia question: Who was born on one continent, lived on a second continent, and died on a third continent
  • Only favorite shopping place: Barnes and Noble
  • Affinity for paper is greater than affinity for computer
  • Starts the day at the office with a crossword, a favorite beverage, and a PPI for EERD
  • BBC comedy freak, especially “Yes Minister” and “Monty Python”

Education: Medical School: Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, India
Residency: St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center
Board Certified: Family Medicine
Certificate of Added Qualification: Geriatrics

inoue sue100x131

Sue Inoue, MD

Sue, technically a Hoosier, grew up in a Japanese-American household in the south suburbs of Chicago… 

in a predominantly white, working class neighborhood. When the neighborhood bullies found my flatter profile just reason for torment, I, with all the wisdom of my seven years of life, advised my father to adopt a German shepherd, the bigger the better. He appeared to be listening, but then promptly purchased an eighty-year-old upright piano, assuring me that this was the more effective weapon. Although dubious of my father's judgment, I agreed to lessons. Music has since warded off a number of enemies.

 I attended college on the south side of Chicago, where I was a volunteer in the pediatric emergency room. I saw children turned away from this rich, private institution because of lack of insurance, and my determination to provide care to the underserved was born.

I took a couple of detours, including a five-month stint in Japan, hanging out with my grandmother, a hipper version of my mother. After medical school, I moved to Austria to do a little research, preferring the café' culture of Vienna to the rigors of residency.

I packed up my cat named "Cat" and returned to the Twin Cities. I did, in fact, do a residency in between nursing recurrent bilateral tendinitis, secondary to compulsive knitting and foot numbness from running. After finishing a Maternal-Child Fellowship in Chicago, the cat and I, again, returned to the Twin Cities to join the faculty at the United Family Medicine Residency Program... happily ever after.

Education: Medical School: University of Minnesota
Residency: St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center
Board Certified: Family Practice

johnson katherine100x131

Katie Johnson, MD

Through nature and nurture, I have developed a passion for travel and exploring new places. I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, lived in a pagoda in Washington, D.C…

and on an army base near Landstuhl, Germany, all before my fifth birthday. I consider myself a North Dakotan. St. Paul, Minnesota was my home from age five-to-eight, before moving to Devils Lake, North Dakota, where I grew my small town roots. I am the oldest of three girls and value my relationships with my sisters and parents. Thanks to my dad, I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty of motorcycle travel.

Upon completion of high school, I looked east, towards Providence, RI, where I attended Brown University and Brown Medical School. While my east coast living helped me develop a world-view, I realized a growing appreciation and desire to be closer to family. At Allina Health United Family Medicine Residency Program, I found residency training with a focus on community medicine and underserved populations.

After residency, I looked west and took a job with the Yakima Valley Farm Worker’s at the Rosewood Family Medicine clinic in Portland, Oregon. I practiced full-spectrum Family Medicine in a Federal Health Qualified Clinic (FQHC). This job satisfied my desire to work with a diverse patient population and maintain my Spanish language skills. Oregon offered the outdoor playground for activities I love: hiking, cross-country skiing, cycling and skijoring with a pound puppy named Hamlet. I look forward to continuing to be active in the natural beauty of Minnesota.

Again, I felt the pull to return home - pulled by my adorable three year-old niece and her new baby sister. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to be involved in their lives, I was fortunate to find an opportunity at United Family Medicine. I am excited to return home to my training program and to participate in graduate medical education.

I recently returned from volunteering and traveling in west and southern Africa. Over the past eight years, during three separate trips, I have witnessed and participated in the evolution of HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa. What was previously a death sentence in most African countries is slowly becoming a manageable chronic illness. My experience in Swaziland has motivated me to think about our approach to chronic conditions: diabetes, asthma, hypertension and ways to work with individuals and families to better facilitate lifelong control.

Education: Brown Medical School, Providence, RI
Residency: Allina Health - United Family Medicine Residency Program, St. Paul, MN
Board certified: Family Medicine 

johnson micah100x131

Micah Johnson, MD

In learning from the community about a desire for group-care during residency, a fellow resident and I helped start group prenatal care, an innovative way to deliver medical care to pregnant women. I am always interested in...

new and imaginative methods of care delivery in the ever-changing landscape of health-care. Through experiences playing basketball at Carleton College, running marathons with my wife, Rebekah, and cross country skiing, I have developed a passion for sports medicine, including covering local sporting events as the team physician. After graduating from college, I took a job as a science and math teacher in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. I feel very lucky to be able to make education part of my career at the United Family Medicine Residency Program. My connection to the Spanish language and Latino culture that started in Guatemala continued during medical school, when I worked for a year at a hospital in Santiago, Dominican Republic. This connection has continued and grown with my continuity patients at United Family Medicine Clinic.

Education: Dartmouth Medical School, The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University
Residency: United Family Medicine Residency Program
Board Certified: Family Practice

macken kathleen100x131

Kathleen Macken, MD

Yes, I am the eldest of eight children in an Irish-French-German family with a typical penchant for…

perfectionism. That penchant reached its pinnacle at age 14, when my 13-year-old sister had to fight for me by telling people I really wasn’t a "weirdo" because I only had time to break from studying to wash my hair every two weeks. I think what I have matured to is a person with a passion for life, from my family to the high school girl’s basketball tournament to women’s marathon running (of which I’ve only run one. But, from all the stories I tell, you would think it was more) to traveling with my family.

Included and very important in my passions is a love for family medicine. I truly have never regretted the choice and find it to be forever stimulating, rewarding, challenging, and a privilege. Within its confines, I particularly love continuity of care, family-centered perinatal care, women and children’s care, and the behavioral aspects of medicine. In case you’re wondering, I’ve definitely lost my perfectionism.

Education: Medical School: Mayo Clinic
Residency: St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center
Board Certified: Family Practice

montie gerald100x131

Jerry Montie, MD

Jerry a self-described Pacific Northwest native, was born and raised in Wisconsin. During high school he was more often seen playing drums in…

local nightclubs than his 8 a.m. calculus class. Jerry's obsession with music has continued through the years. His experience ranges from many gigs in smoke-filled nightclubs to playing in a back-up band for Rodney Dangerfield.

Most recently, he concentrates on writing and recording music in an effort to discover and document his musical brain. Should he find anything worthwhile, he’ll be releasing a CD of original music in the future.

After deciding that it might be difficult to make a living as a professional free-style skier, Jerry decided on a career in family medicine. He feels privileged to have such a great job.

Aside from being a doc and a musician, Jerry also enjoys spending time with family and friends, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and other outdoor activities.

In the future, Jerry hopes to discourage increasing commercialism and promote more sustainable lifestyles for everyone.

"You might say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one..."

Education: Medical School: Washington University School of Medicine
Residency: Valley Medical Center, Renton, WA
Board Certified: Family Practice

deanna plant

Deanna Plant, MD

Born in Minnesota, raised in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I am somewhat of an…  

upper-Midwestern hybrid. I lived my early years in Minneapolis suburbia, then moved to small town Wisconsin for my later school years. After a tour south to La Crosse, east to Madison for medical school and further east to Milwaukee for residency, I found my mate in Wisconsin and convinced him that Minnesota was a pretty cool place to live. So, after three fun-filled years in Milwaukee, we packed up the U-Haul with three cats and various belongings and left the land of beer and cheese in our rear view mirror. (I will mention that although we crossed the border into Minnesota, Tom remains a Packer fan and I remain a Badger fan).

Since arriving here in 2003, I had the opportunity to practice in a physician-owned and operated group in Maple Grove for six years before getting the call to “serve and to teach”. After interviewing and seeing the great energy at United Family Medicine and care for their patients, I decided it was time to cross the river. In October 2009, I had the fortune to join the faculty at United Family Medicine Residency Program.

In my work life, I enjoy caring for the whole family, including prenatal and obstetrical care. One of the highlights of my current practice is getting to spend time with and teach residents and medical students. They bring such breaths of fresh air into my life as a faculty and physician.

In my home life, I enjoy spending time with my awesome husband and our two crazy kids, running, cooking, and reading.

Education: University of Wisconsin Medical School
Residency: Columbia – St. Mary’s Hospital Family Medicine Residency
Board Certified: Family Practice

roodfacultypic

Brian Rood, PhD, MPH

Brian was born in California and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Tired of the intense...  

heat and dry air, he decided to try his hand at the opposite end of the weather spectrum and attend college in Iowa—a “field of dreams,” he figured, must be a good place to receive an education, right? He double-majored in psychology and writing, and, following graduation, moved to Chicago and became involved in community-based research, largely with communities of color and LGBTQ youth. Brian subsequently completed a master’s degree in public health and, inspired by mentors who blended the practice of community health intervention with psychology, he continued his eastward trek across the U.S. to Boston, where he completed his PhD in clinical psychology. His doctoral research was focused on the stress and coping experiences of minority individuals, and, as a culmination of his training, he started his career in academia, as a psychology professor in Minneapolis.

Over time, however, the allure of working with exceptionally bright and motivated family medicine residents—combining his interests in teaching psychology to clinicians and facilitating community-based research—was too good to pass up. Drawn to the mission and values of United Family Medicine, he joined the faculty and, as the “odd duck” (i.e., non-physician) of the group, enjoys the knowledge that he can both contribute to and gain from working with the residents as part of their training.

Education: MPH: DePaul University; PhD: Suffolk University
Pre-Doctoral Internship: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

rumsey tim100x131

Tim Rumsey, MD

Tim is a failed rock musician, would-be dinosaur hunter, and hockey geek… 

His wife and three children are the main focus of his life, followed by a continued belief that being a family doctor is a job that matters and, after 21 years, can still say that he is glad to be doing what he is doing. He is the author of a novel, Pictures From A Trip, about two brothers in love with the world who take a trip with a blind friend to the Dakotas and Montana to look for dinosaur bones. Five CME credits are automatically given to anyone reading this book.

His main goals in life are to be a good dad and husband, to be a good family doc, and to play rhythm guitar with the Rolling Stones.

Education: Medical School: University of Minnesota
Internship: Hennepin County Medical Center
Board Certified: Family Practice

smith kristensen jennifer100x131

Jennifer Smith-Kristensen, MD

Jennifer Smith-Kristensen, MD was born and raised in the Twin Cities. A self-professed super-geek growing up, she was always the shy, quiet, good kid…     

In high school, during a mission trip to Haiti with her church youth group, it became crystal clear that she wanted to have a career that was service oriented, a job where she could make a difference for people. The endless piano lessons as a child led her to a music scholarship in college and she was able to study piano in Central Italy following her freshman year in college.

After college and medical school, Jen sought out her dream residency training program at the United Family Medicine Residency Program, where the clinic mission was to serve uninsured, under-insured and under-served populations. Jen was living her passion, learning the larger issues which surround patient care, beyond the immediate medical needs - serving patients with complex socioeconomic needs.

At the conclusion of residency and before starting a family, Jen and her husband, Ben, took a dream trip to Europe, exploring countries by train at their whim. After riding the rails, they returned home to Jen’s new practice at an independent clinic in North Minneapolis which fell in line with her desire to do urban underserved medicine. Jen and Ben also started to grow their family, which now totals six. Puppy Molly, now grown, loves playing with child Sam, Abby and Izzy. The majority of Jen’s time is all around family – camping, state parks, pools, zoos, museums, and traveling as a family.

Education: University of Minnesota
Residency: Allina Health - United Family Medicine Residency Program, St. Paul, MN
Board certified: Family Medicine

toso bradford 2012

Bradford L. Toso, MD

I bought flippers and a used wet suit and began college in Boston expecting to follow in the footsteps of…

Jacques Cousteau. My Norwegian ethos found empathy with the Chinese student community, where I was gifted with my Chinese name. I had imagined for myself a career in a scientific research lab. As there could be only one Cousteau, I completed my degree in chemistry and enrolled in medical school at the University of Minnesota. I earned some honors along the way, but found greater joy in volunteer work and the sports team on which I participated.

I developed a special interest in infectious diseases and spent some time studying tropical diseases in the Philippines. I returned to finish my residency in internal medicine, added two months of pediatrics and started work in community medicine in a bicultural clinic. I became fluent in Spanish, and a novice at classical guitar and folk dancing. Then I began my protest years (later than most). I moved to the Miller Outpatient Department (MOD) Clinic to involve myself more in medical education and geriatric medicine, while continuing in a community service-oriented practice.

Education: Medical School: University of Minnesota
Residency: Abbott Northwestern Hospital
Board Certified: Internal Medicine