What leads someone to pick up and move their life from one place to another? For HSHS Medical Group’s Kate Endicott, MD, it was a girl. “I wanted my daughter to grow up in a tight-knit community,” Dr. Endicott said.
Dr. Endicott grew up in Wood River, Illinois, a small town right outside of St. Louis. After graduating high school, she went to Ohio State University for one year and finished her Bachelor of Science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In a women’s studies course, she learned about a midwife and briefly considered a career in OB/GYN. But she also wanted to care for the entire family and liked the idea of “cradle-to-grave care.”
She earned her medical degree at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency at University of Illinois Chicago-Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Following her residency, Dr. Endicott worked with SSM Health as a family medicine provider in St. Louis for five years.
A change in circumstances
After her daughter was born, Dr. Endicott was looking for a change. “My daughter was my priority,” she said. “While I loved both Chicago and St. Louis, there were a lot of safety issues, and I was overwhelmed by the prospect of having to navigate the educational system.”
HSHS Medical Group was looking for a family medicine physician for its Hillsboro practice. When Dr. Endicott was interviewing for the job she said, “I only heard great things about Hillsboro. It’s a very special place.”
Throughout the process of looking for a small-town practice, Dr. Endicott’s colleagues supported the move. “They told me I would love caring for a small-town community,” she recalls. And seven months ago, she became an HSHS Medical Group family medicine doctor in Hillsboro.
“We are grateful to have a compassionate, well-trained physician join our practice in Hillsboro,” said Melinda Clark, chief executive officer of HSHS Medical Group. “Dr. Endicott shows genuine care for her patients and values the relationships she has with members of the community. We appreciate her commitment to rural health care needs.”
Practicing in a small community
“My style is a team-based approach,” Dr. Endicott said. To help her patients take a more active role in their health care, she just listens to them and takes a step back to see where they’re at and what their goals are. As she earns their trust, she can help them work on what they need to. Dr. Endicott also noted that the access to specialists is more limited in smaller communities, but this gives her the opportunity to stretch her skill set.
The patient population isn’t the only difference: “The staff is hugely different,” Dr. Endicott said. In St. Louis, her practice went through seven medical assistants in just five years. “I wanted people as committed to doing the job the right way as I am.” She’s found that in Hillsboro.
To new doctors or those weighing the pros and cons of moving to a smaller town, Dr. Endicott said, “The relationships with the staff and sense of community outweigh any fears I had about being isolated.” She already feels closer to the community in the short time she’s been working in Hillsboro.