Kristin Larson is a family physician at Apple Valley Family Medicine. She grew up in Yakima, but decided to leave the valley after high school. Following graduation from Princeton and Penn State, she made the decision to return to her roots. As a physician, Kristin would much rather avoid disease by encouraging people to exercise and eat well; making changes to improve health rather than putting them on medication. She most values her relationships with patients and enjoys getting to know sometimes three and four generations of the same family.
What inspired you to choose medicine as a career?
I was always interested in science as a child so medicine was a natural way to be around people and continue my interest in science. I was raised in a family where my dad's three brothers and his father were all physicians so I grew up around a large group of medical professionals.
Do you have a philosophy or approach to working with patients?
As a physician, it's important to listen to patients and figure out what they need to be successful in their health, what their priorities are and what they are most interested in. It doesn't do any good to tell patients what they need to do unless they are engaged and interested in making the changes you are suggesting since they are the ones who will have to do the work.
What do you appreciate most about the doctors and staff you work with?
We all work very well together. I enjoy working in such a supportive environment where I know if I'm going to be gone, my patients are still being well taken care of. I think it's nice to work with people you enjoy and who are easy to talk with. I really appreciate the support that my colleagues at Apple Valley bring both in their breadth of experience and their willingness to help out in whatever way they can.
What do you like about Yakima?
Memorial is a very good hospital; they have resources and a lot of different specialties. I do think one thing that is somewhat unique about Yakima's medical community is that in despite it being a relatively small town, we have a good breadth of specialists and sub-specialists and physicians who are extremely talented at what they do. We are very lucky that we have those doctors here in such a small town.
Tell me a little known fact about you or talk about what you like to do outside of work.
I have two children who are five and eight. We like to go hiking. I like to ski, play a little tennis occasionally, go for runs, and I also like to read. We're working on getting back into travelling now that our children are getting to ages where we can do that without it being very difficult.