New physician assistant April Bieber said she’s enjoying rural life since joining the crew at Strawberry Mountain Community Clinic in May.
“I love the area, the landscape of this area and the people,” she said.
She said she’s happy to have the opportunity to live and work in a small town.
“I have always enjoyed living in the country,” she said. “Living in the city for three years made me more sure of that. I would rather commute behind a herd of cattle than a line of red taillights.”
This is a return trip to Grant County for Bieber, who makes her home in Mt. Vernon.
Most of her clinical rotations were spent in Atlanta, Georgia, but she also spent a month at Strawberry Clinic in the spring of last year.
Her parents, Rodney and Judy Bieber, lived in the area in the early 2000s for more than eight years and now live in Colorado.
April Bieber said that between the end of her rotation in John Day and graduation she called the clinic frequently inquiring about a position.
“This is a great clinic,” she said. “This is a team I really enjoyed working with in rotation and could see myself coming back to work permanently.”
Bieber graduated from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, in December of 2017.
Before joining the PA program there, she attended Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla, Washington, and lived in Portland.
Her background includes working in a wide range of medical settings, including pediatric units, wildfires and a stint at the Oregon Medical Examiner’s Office. She was also an autopsy technician at Oregon Health & Science University.
When she’s not working, Bieber said she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, the Grant County trapper, and she’s been rediscovering talents such as hiking, camping and baking. She also enjoys traveling.
Bieber said she’s looking forward to the Grant County Fair, Aug. 15-18, and attending the Lonestar concert there on Aug. 17.
For now, she’s keeping busy at the clinic.
She said she likes the diversity that family practice medicine offers, especially in a rural setting.
“We get to see and do a lot — a broad spectrum,” she said.
She added that she also enjoys emergency medicine and plans to cover that role more in the future.
“I was attracted to family medicine because of how you get to know your patients in a small community atmosphere,” she said. “I’m accepting new patients with schedule availability and look forward to meeting the people of Grant County.”
To set up an appointment with Bieber, call the clinic at 541-575-0404. Clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with availability at 7 a.m. on varied days.
A physician assistant, or PA, is a mid-level provider that is licensed by the state to see patients and to diagnose and treat them. A PA is different than a doctor or physician, but they function so similarly that most patients won’t notice a difference between them. PAs go through a shorter program and, therefore, always work with a physician who oversees their work.