Carl Olden is a family physician at Pacific Crest Family Medicine in Yakima. Carl has known he wanted to be a doctor since he was nine years old. After graduating from college and medical school in Seattle, Carl became interested in maternity care, as it is such a special time in people's lives. He has been involved in teaching in locations around the world including the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Moldova and Lithuania, and in Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Carl strives to live a life with purpose, and hopes that he will inspire others to do the same.
What inspired you to choose medicine as a career?
I was a curious kid, always wanting to see how things worked, and I loved science. I saw family members suffering with health issues and wanted to be able to help. I was nine years old when I told my parents I was going to be a doctor so the exact inspirational moment isn't clear, but I did get a dissecting kit (a fish, frog and mouse preserved in formalin) for Christmas that year.
Do you have a philosophy or approach to working with patients?
Do all that you can, as well as you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can. Treat others with the compassion, dignity and respect that you would like to receive. Treat everyone with more kindness than necessary because you never know how much they really need it.
What do you appreciate most about the doctors and staff you work with?
Commitment, care, compassion, kindness, humor - the list goes on. We are a family.
What do you like about Yakima?
I was born in Toppenish, educated in Wapato through the 6th grade and attended White Swan for Jr. and Sr. High. The Yakima Valley has always been home. Growing up on the Yakama Reservation with a father who was an enrolled Yakama tribal member allowed me a look into the local culture and heritage that many do not get to experience. Plus growing up on a farm, taking care of livestock and crops from an early age gave me work experience and responsibility that has always been part of my core.
Tell me a little known fact about you or talk about what you like to do outside of work.
I like to build things (houses, etc.) and look forward to learning new things around home repair - unfortunately I've had way too much recent opportunity. I like to teach my kids to be able to do the same, much as my father taught me. I've always been interested in safety and quality around maternity care, and for the past 16 years I have been part of the American Academy of Family Practice's Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Program. For the past 6 years, I've sat on the International Advisory Board as well as been the Chair for the past two years. During that time I've taught many courses across the U.S. and have had the opportunity to personally start up new programs in the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Moldova and Lithuania, in Mexico, in Saudi Arabia and in Qatar, with many more in the works worldwide.
When you retire, what would you like to be remembered for?
Why retire when I'm having fun? I guess I hope that when it is all over my family, friends and colleagues will recognize that my purpose in life was to live a life with purpose, and hopefully that will inspire others to do the same.