Kristi Florek, M.D.
What attracted you to medicine and Family Medicine?
I was drawn to family medicine because I wanted to care for patients throughout their entire lives, and I love being able to take care of all members of a family. From prenatal care and delivering babies, to well-child visits and annual exams, to acute illness and inpatient hospital care, family medicine has so much variety! My husband (also a family medicine resident) and I plan to practice in rural Africa long-term, and we both decided that family medicine is the ideal training to prepare us for the broad spectrum of medicine we will practice there.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for residency training?
I first became interested in Mayo's Family Medicine residency at the American Academy of Family Physicians National Conference for medical students and residents in Kansas City, Missouri. I met several Mayo residents who were excited about their program and answered many, many of my questions. At the conference I could really see myself fitting in with the faculty and residents. My husband and I were looking to stay in Minnesota near family because we have a young daughter. Lucky for us, Rochester is only 15 minutes from my childhood home and my parents. As a two-resident family with a toddler, day care with grandparents has been a huge blessing for us.
What makes the Mayo Clinic Family Medicine Residency unique?
During our three years, we have a great blend of inpatient hospital medicine on our own family medicine service, obstetrics, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and outpatient clinic, as well as specialty rotations in surrounding smaller communities where we get valuable one-on-one, hands-on experience that is difficult to get at the main campus with so many residents. At first, I was worried about not getting great training in primary care at Mayo Clinic since there are so many specialists. However, our family medicine preceptors are passionate about providing true primary care to our patients and teaching the next generation of family medicine physicians.
Having our continuity clinic in Kasson, 13 miles west of Rochester, allows us to practice family medicine in a rural setting. Despite being so close to a large tertiary care center, many of our patients prefer not to go into "the big city." This means we are able to really be the primary care providers for these patients without dividing their care between specialists.
What is living in Rochester like for you?
We live less than a mile from both the Saint Marys Campus and the Methodist Campus of Mayo Clinic Hospital, and we love being able to walk to work (when it isn't below zero!). There are several parks for our daughter to play at within walking distance of our house. As a family, we enjoy the zoo in Byron, visiting the public library and the weekly Farmer's Market, and seasonal visits to the multiple berry farms, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches. There are also bike paths, places to snowshoe or cross-country ski, and several state parks in the area.
What does your future look like right now?
After my husband and I graduate from residency we plan to move to Africa. We have not yet decided whether we will go immediately or if we'll pursue more training in a fellowship or work for a few years to gain more experience. We plan to work somewhere in rural Africa, likely practicing a combination of obstetrics, pediatrics, emergency medicine, infectious disease, preventative medicine, along with a good dose of public health. One of my passions is working with AIDS orphans, so we'll see how this fits into the picture as well.