Shaun Dekutoski, M.D., has practiced in Byron for 19 and a half years. Photo by David Richards
By David Richards
She loves bicycling, loves to play tennis and her favorite flower is the "forget me not," because her grandmother grew them in her garden.
But it is her love for her patients, her staff and the community that has Byron doctor Shaun Dekutoski nominated for a prestigious statewide award.
Dr. Dekutoski, who has been on staff at the Byron Clinic of Olmsted Medical Center the past 19 years, is a candidate for the "Physician of the Year" award, the second in her office to receive a nomination.
"I felt humbled and honored," she said about being notified. "I feel it's quite a blessing to work in this close knit community. I love what I do."
The Minnesota Academy of Physicians' Physician of the Year Award has been handed out annually since 1981 and honors the family physician who "represents the highest ideals of the specialty of family medicine, including caring, comprehensive medical service, community involvement and serving as a role model," according to an MAFP statement
Roughly 15-25 physicians are nominated each year, with 21 being nominated for 2012.
A task force will select four finalists, before the MAFP board of directors names the winner from that list that will be posted on line this month. The winner will be announced at the annual meeting in April.
Kristine Thorson, communications coordinator for MAFP, said in addition to Byron, multiple nominations also came from Wilmar and Alexandria.
"It's a big honor be aide we have more than 2,000 family physicians who are members," Thorson said.
Byron physician Mark Wilbur was nominated last fall.
Dekutoski lives in Rochester Township and grew up in Michigan, attending school in the state for her undergraduate studies, medical school and her residency.
At an average week, she'll work four days, 10-12 hours per day.
"It's challenging," she said about balancing work and family. Dekutoski has two daughters in college and her husband of 26 years is also a doctor.
At the Byron Clinic, she sees patients of all ages and for all illness, from asthma to high blood pressure to influenza.
"A lot of what we do here is education," she said. "Pre natal education for pregnant patients, parents who have concerns about their teenagers and how to approach them."
Even though she has been nominated for the award, she spent more time talking about her patients and her staff than about herself.
"My favorite thing (about Olmsted Medical Center) is that we really know our patients," she said "and our staff really treats each other like family and because of that, we are able to extend that to our patients.
For two decades, Dr. Dekutoski has been treating patients in Byron, sometimes taking care of four generations of one family.
But ask her about her service, and she'll pass on the credit once again.
"It should be a group honor, not an individual honor, that's my thought," she said about her nomination.