An Interview with Margit Dijkstra, MD of One Medical Group San Francisco, California
Posted Oct 21 2010 12:00am
Margit Dijkstra, MD
Dr. Dijkstra specializes in the following areas:
Complex Medical Conditions
Diabetes, Hypertension, Lipid Disorders
Margit blends conventional medicine with complementary treatments such as nutritional optimization and mind-body balance and is a compassionate and attentive provider; she views each appointment as an open-ended conversation about how to improve the patient's overall health. After graduating with honors from Vassar College, Margit earned her MD from Ohio State University and went on to complete her residency in family medicine at Grant Medical Center. Her experience includes both private practice and medical directorship of Healthcare for the Homeless. She also participated in a fellowship in integrative medicine through the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. She is certified with the American Board of Family Medicine and is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Ohio State.
1. What got you interested in medicine?
My dad is a physician. From early on, I had a fascination with his office, the potions he’d give people, the way in which his understanding of an unseen process could influence someone’s life. I grew up in Holland, where when asked what you’d like to be when you grow up, you’d answer “I want to work for Doctors Without Borders” as often as you’d say “I want to be a firefighter.” I think it was in my blood to want to help people!
2. How do you like working at One Medical compared to your past endeavors?
One Medical Group is completely dedicated to optimizing the patient’s experience, much more so than any practice I’ve worked in or observed. I love the feeling of partnership with my patients, of providing guidance and a forum for discussion, without being dictatorial or paternalistic. That sort of relationship was at the basis for the company’s formation and OMG has managed to really make it work.
3. I see you were the director of Health care for the Homeless, how do you feel about the homeless situation in SF?
Because I worked closely with homeless patients, I think it’s easier for me to see the person rather than the homelessness in someone living on the streets. One key to reducing homelessness is to provide people with accessible mental health treatment and medical safety nets when the illness gets the better of the person. California is in a fiscal crisis, and when money dries up, in healthcare it dries up fastest for mental illness treatment.
4. What are your keys to a healthy lifestyle?
Most importantly, food is your medicine. Nearly every major illness that affects our society is modifiable or preventable through attention to nutrition. Emotional stress management is also key to physical health; many illnesses arise due to inflammation in the body and external stress creates internal inflammation. The healthiest patients I have are those who pay attention to what’s in their stomachs and in their hearts.
5. Going to med school at The Ohio State University, you must be proud that your Buckeyes are number one in the nation right now in college football. Do you feel this is going to be their year to win the national championship?