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Doctors seek out hometown careers

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Family and community attracted two new doctors to Douglas County Hospital (DCH).

They’re new doctors in town, but by no means are they new to the area.

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Dr. Greg Gesell and Dr. Dustin Lorentz are Alexandria natives who have come home to practice medicine.

DR. GREG GESELL

Dr. Greg Gesell is the newest emergency medicine physician at DCH and started his first shift on July 14.

“So far, so good,” he told the Echo Press.

Gesell is the son of Mike and Luann Gesell of Alexandria.

“I enjoyed my time when I was here and I thought it would be a great place to raise a family so, obviously, I came back,” Gesell said.

He made the move just in time – he and his wife, Alyssa, had their first child, Beckett, on August 10.

“We’re pretty excited about being able to raise him here,” he said.

Gesell attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and attended medical school at A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri.

“I looked at possibly practicing other places, but when I was looking for a job, I took into consideration more than the work environment – the community was also important.

“Douglas County has come a long way since I was here. The ER, surprisingly, is doing pretty good at keeping up to date on what’s out there as far as modern emergency medicine. I was pleased to see that, which made my decision to come back easier,” he said.

Already, the hometown doctor is recognized by patients.

“Every third patient seems to know my mom or dad,” he laughed. “I’ve seen multiple people I know and staff around the hospital, obviously. I know them personally or they’ll say, ‘I went to high school with your dad’ or something. I see a lot of people who recognize me or I recognize them.”

The Gesells moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“The staff here has been supportive. Everybody has been very nice and accommodating so I’m very fortunate in that,” he said.

DR. DUSTIN LORENTZ

Dr. Dustin Lorentz is the newest hospitalist on staff at DCH. He has a special interest in serving patients with obesity, diabetes and cholesterol issues.

As of Tuesday, Lorentz had only been on the job for two days.

This will be Lorentz’s civilian practice after his residency at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California and serving as a medical officer onboard the U.S.S. Carter Hall from 2010 to 2012, which included a nine-month deployment to the Persian Gulf.

Lorentz attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and went to medical school at the University of Minnesota.

What brought him back to Alexandria?

“A lot of things, but primarily it was family. Both my wife and I are from here and we loved growing up here.”

Ted and Vicki Lorentz of Alexandria are his parents.

Growing up, Lorentz said he enjoyed fishing, playing winter sports and snowboarding.

“Although I’ve lived in very nice places – San Diego and Virginia Beach – it’s a lot harder to do that there,” he said with a smile.

“I remember growing up here how people have always been really nice and friendly and helpful. Living all over the place, you get a good sample of how the rest of the world thinks and acts and I think people around here are generally nicer – that Minnesota Nice thing truly applies.

“There are not a whole lot of places that you can have this small town feel but also have a large amount of resources to take care of a large amount of people. That certainly played a role, as well,” Lorentz said.

Lorentz and his wife, Michelle, have three children, Tyson, age 15, Blake, 13, and Jackson, 5.

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Amy Chaffins
Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, Amy’s first job was at KSAX-TV working as an anchor and reporter. From 2003-2010, Amy worked as an editor and reporter for the Pope County Tribune and Starbuck Times newspapers. During her journalism career, Amy earned writing and photography awards from the Associated Press, Minnesota Newspaper Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Amy and her husband, Brandon, live in Alexandria and together write “He Sez, She Sez,” a humor column in the local women’s magazine, Chicz
(320) 763-1242
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