What was an impactful moment during your PA training? While I was in the middle of my surgical rotation, my mother and I got in a car accident and she ended up in ICU for a few weeks, needing surgery. It was a powerful lesson while learning to provide surgical care to also be on the receiving end as a family member. Going through that experience influences how I relate to my patients. When I treat patients I ask myself what I would want for my family.
Who inspired you to become a physician and why Northwest Colorado? "Growing up in Meeker, I always looked forward to getting back to a smaller town and never imagined it would work out for me to return to the Meeker/Craig area. But it has, and it's fantastic," he states. Dr. Borchard grew up in Meeker and was inspired to become a doctor by his EMT mother and by local Meeker doctor David Steinman. His sister, Kellie Turner, is a family physician in Meeker, and his wife, Hanna, was also raised in Meeker. "I loved growing up in this area, and now my boys can experience that too." he says.
Was there a compelling moment in your life that made you want to become a doctor? As a high school student,I had a major accident while hiking near Rock Canyon, Utah. A large boulder broke loose and struck me, and I had to be airlifted out of the canyon to nearby medical facilities. I broke my femur and needed surgical reconstruction on the muscles in my right arm. I spent several days in the hospital, and went through a long recovery. It was a life-changing time for me and it influenced the course of my life.
When did you know you wanted to be a doctor? I remember the moment well. I was in fourth grade and I picked up this book called The Human Body in my school library. I was fascinated by the pictures and diagrams of how the body worked, and I never lost that fascination. I was not a great student until that point but something clicked when I picked up that book. I never looked back after that. I was motivated to learn everything I could.
What do you enjoy most about being a PA? Seeing positive change and helping people feel better; that’s exciting to me. Working in family medicine I get to do a little of everything. I work with a lot of diabetic patients, but I like all aspects of my job. I really enjoy working at TMH—we have a close knit medical team at the Clinic and all of our different experiences come in handy. We work really well together.
Did you always want to be a doctor? I was a nurse for almost 10 years before I became a doctor. I worked in several areas from the psychiatric and pediatric floors to medical surgical and intensive care. In intensive care I had a patient that I took care of for three months and really got to know him and his family. That experience made me realize that I wanted to form more long-term relationships with my patients.
What do you enjoy about Craig and TMH? After returning from Alaska in late 2014, I took a position as a pediatric PA at a fast-paced clinic on the Front Range, but we wanted a small town setting. I knew TMH was a great place from the start. The dedication of the staff was very obvious from their passion for the patients and families to the town of Craig itself.
What’s one of your mantras as a doctor—something you find yourself saying over and over to patients? That we—the patient and I—are in this together. We are a team dealing with your disease. I can give you information and help you institute a treatment plan, but I need you to play an active role in making decisions and lifestyle changes to take care of yourself. Preventing disease or further disease is critical—and you have the power to do that.
What is your philosophy as a doctor? My philosophy in both my personal and professional life is the golden rule—treat others how you want to be treated. I see myself as less of a physician and more of an educator as I believe people know their bodies and what they need. We meet each other half way—I learn their goals and they learn mine. We align our ideas and create a plan that works best for them. In the military, I felt honored to receive several shooting star awards for exceptional patient care.
What brought you to Colorado, and to TMH? Coming out of school an opening came available at The Steadman Clinic in Vail. I got the job and it has been an incredible experience. My girlfriend, Maggie Anderson, works at TMH Medical Clinic and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get closer to her and have a better work/life balance.
What attracted you to Craig and the area? I always thought I’d live in a big city, having grown up in one. That changed when I traveled to several outlying small towns for my clinical training while completing my physician assistant studies in Wichita, Kansas. I really fell in love with the friendly hometown feel of small towns, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know patients as if they were family and friends. Craig has that same feel. I visited a few weeks back and was fortunate enough to find the perfect house. I am very excited to not only work in the community, but also really become a part of it.
Did you always want to be a doctor?
There are no other doctors in my family, but I always loved science growing up.
In high school, I developed an inner ear disorder. I would suddenly fall down from the imbalance and not be able to get
up for a minute. It got worse my freshman year in college and I had to drop out. At the time, my mom was a single mom
working three jobs and we didn’t have health insurance.
Click here to read more about Dr. Sullivan
When did you know you wanted to be a doctor? I always wanted to be a doctor. I decided to be a surgeon, though, when I realized I wanted to be Hawkeye Pierce from the TV show “MAS*H”. Seriously, like him, I wanted to see that I was making an immediate difference.
When did you know you wanted to be a doctor? I knew I wanted to be a doctor in fifth grade. I had the most amazing fifth grade teacher at Big Timber Grade School in Montana – Mr. Rolland Karlin. I fell in love with science that year. Working with science and people – I knew it would be the perfect job for me.
What’s your career as a physician assistant in a nutshell? One of my first jobs was working as a PA in Baggs, Wyoming. Over the past several years, I’ve served as a PA in various clinics around Craig, CO and Baggs, WY. Craig is where most of my family lives and where I have lifelong friends from growing up in Craig and graduating from Moffat County High School. I’ve practiced in many areas of medicine, including family medicine, rural health, emergency/urgent care, orthpaedics and neurosurgery.
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