Dr. Netana Machacek didn’t know from a young age that she wanted to become a doctor. Her interest started in late high school. That interest grew, especially in college, as she continued to learn more about practicing medicine.
“It just solidified that I was making the right choice,” she said.
Dr. Machacek is a family medicine physician at the Memorial Regional Health Medical Clinic in Craig. She has had a lot of life changes since we last spoke with her, including becoming a mother! So, we sat down to catch up with Dr. Machacek and learn more about her life and career at MRH.
Q: What piqued your interest in family medicine?
Dr. Netana Machacek: I grew up in Grand Junction and I love smaller towns and the Western Slope, so I knew I wanted to practice in a rural area — that’s what drove me to medical school. Family medicine specifically opened up a lot more opportunities and gives me the ability to care for all demographics.
Q: What is the difference between a DO and an MD, why did you choose the DO route?
Dr. Machacek: When you train to be a DO, you learn all of the same topics as you would at an MD school. In addition, you have courses in manual medicine and a philosophical focus on treating “the whole person.” The change in philosophy is becoming more common in the medical community as a whole.
The hands-on part is similar to chiropractic work, but with a different philosophy. DOs practice Western medicine, but our training is just an additional tool in the toolbox. Chiropractors focus much more on manual medicine and have more limited training in internal medicine topics.
I chose this path partially on accident. I didn’t know much about osteopathic medicine until I interviewed at Rocky Vista. I really identified with the culture that I found there and was excited to have another option to offer my patients.
Family medicine at MRH
If it’s time for annual physicals, if you have an occasional cold or flu, or if you’re simply not feeling well — physicians, physician assistants and other clinical staff at Memorial Regional Health can assist you with ease and expertise. No matter your age, family physicians are an excellent starting point for any of your medical needs.
To learn more about services offered at MRH or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Machacek,
Q: How does being a DO affect the type of care patients receive?
Dr. Machacek: We can definitely decrease pain and symptoms with options other than medication. The top three things that I might consider treating with manual manipulation besides pain complaints are constipation, ear pain and congestion. With COVID-19 we have had to be a lot more careful with seeing patients for the latter two.
Q: What is your main goal in how you approach patient care?
Dr. Machacek: My guiding philosophy is knowing that everyone is different and that guidelines are just that — they are guidelines. I take what I know and I apply it to a given situation in a way that makes the most sense for a patient.
Q: What do you love most about helping patients in Northwest Colorado?
Dr. Machacek: I think that there is a rugged individualism that characterizes the Craig area and I love being able to meet people and treat patients from all walks of life.