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Doctor from Detroit likes new pace

December 08, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - She's the new doc in town.

Just a few months removed from living in Detroit, Dr. Laura Henderson is enjoying life and the practice of medicine in a small town.

"I was kind of tired of the city," Henderson said from her office at the Smithsburg Family Medical Center. "The patient population in Detroit is entirely different."

A graduate of Wayne State University Medical School in Detroit, Henderson, 32, completed residencies in both pediatrics and internal medicine at The Detroit Medical Center. She was chief resident her final year there.

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"I'm very interested in public health so I thought I would get a broader spectrum of medicine here," she said.

During her search for a new position, Henderson said she came across the opportunity to join the staff in Smithsburg. "Everyone was so nice, so I decided to take the position," she said.

Henderson, who lives in Hagerstown, said she has some family in Baltimore and now lives close enough to visit them.

"I really like the location here, close to the city but not too close," Henderson said.

In Washington County since September, Henderson said she has made some friends and is looking around the area to see what it has to offer.

"Right now, my boyfriend is in Florida, but he is planning to relocate to this area soon," she said.

One of the biggest differences is the pace of life in a small town setting.

"In the city, you have to drive everywhere, but not here," she said. "Safety is another big factor, too."

Henderson is very pleased with the type of medicine her new position is allowing her to practice.

"We are pediatrics and internal medicine here, which means we get to see patients from 0 to 99 years old," she said. "It's like being a general practitioner."

As a resident in a large, metropolitan area, she didn't have her own office, her own nurse or even her own patients.

"It is busy here, but I can get to know my patients," Henderson said.

Prevention of disease is a major concern for Henderson, especially where children are involved. She plans to work with families on ways to keep children healthy.

Realizing a lifelong dream to be a doctor has been very satisfying to Henderson. While her mother was a nurse, Henderson said she can't really put her finger on when her quest to become a physician began.

"It's just always been there ... there has been nothing else," Henderson said.

Smithsburg Family Medical Center, at 22911 Jefferson Blvd., is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The other physicians on staff are Drs. William B. Kerns, John P. Reed, Vincent A. Cantone, Gail Brown and Brian Bonham.

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