February 3rd marks the 174th National Women Physicians Day in which we recognize and honor the contributions and achievements of women in the medical field. From the first female physicians that broke through barriers to become pioneers in their field to modern-day physicians working in a variety of medical specialties, female physicians have played an integral role in the advancement of healthcare. Today, we are recognizing Dr. Marjorie Bisenius, DO, Family Medicine physician at Midwest Regional Health Services, and her 19 years of practicing medicine.
What made you choose a career in medicine and become a doctor?
Since 3rd grade, becoming a doctor is the only thing I remember thinking I wanted to do. Honestly, I can’t remember a particular reason why, but I don’t remember thinking about anything else. For a brief month during my undergrad, I considered changing to Athletic Training as I loved sports and working on the sidelines, but then I realized that was only because I was tired of going to the lab in the afternoons when my friends who were not science majors had that time off. Not wanting to work hard was not an acceptable reason to give up on my dream.
What was the path you took for your education that led to where you are today?
I received my undergraduate degree from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. I attended Medical School at Des Moines University of Osteopathic Medicine and completed my residency at Clarkson Family Medicine. In our 3rd and final year, there were three medical students who wanted to stay in Omaha and an opportunity came about for us to start a practice together. Dr. Don Darst had a vision to build a primary care private practice and we were new graduates excited about our field and truly enjoyed working together.
Was there another female physician who you looked up to or currently look up to as a mentor?
Dr. Velma was our hometown doctor and an unspoken mentor to me. She was also an Osteopath and I believe one of the very first women to graduate from the Des Moines University of Osteopathic Medicine. I remember visiting with her when I was in college, and she is the one that encouraged me to apply there.
What is your favorite part of your career?
There is something I enjoy about my job every single day and the best and most special part of family medicine is just that- taking care of families and being a part of their lives. For the first 13 years of my practice, I delivered babies as well so I was honored to bring family members into the world and now I can watch those children grow up.
What advice would you give to young women interested in the medical field or thinking about becoming a physician?
I would give this advice to anyone interested in the medical field. You have to be willing to work hard and be sure of what you want. You don’t need to know what areas of specialty you want to pursue in undergrad, you don’t even need to know what you want to choose during the first two years of medical school. You need to have that figured out by your 4th year. I had a classmate that chose not to come back after her first year of medical school when she realized that was not really what she wanted to do. So be open-minded and be willing and open to new things and new ideas.
What do you do to reinvigorate yourself and relax outside of work?
After 19 years of practicing medicine, I am finally learning about and trying to practice self-care. I will get a massage or facial and for at least that set amount of time, my mind can stop working.
What else would you like to share?
I have a soon-to-be 15-year-old son who is my pride and joy. We like to go to movies and are both into all things Marvel. I have always loved to travel and am pushing myself to start taking some time off and getting back to doing that. Also, my favorite time of year is football season- I grew up with my dad as a football coach so I know and love the game on a level that may not be so typical of other females.
Markie Lowry, CMPE
Assistant Vice President, Core Bank Healthcare Relationship Manager