Dr. Paul Stortz says he’s working in his dream job, practicing medicine in a small Polk County town.
A family physician with Citizens Memorial Healthcare, Stortz works in clinic five days a week in Humansville, and he also makes regular hospital rounds and checks on patients in long-term care facilities.
“My proudest accomplishment is having the opportunity to provide medical care to the people of Humansville and the surrounding communities,” says Stortz, who earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed residency requirements through the Cox Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield.
He moved to Humansville and joined Citizens Memorial Healthcare in 2009.
“The patients have welcomed me to the community, and I have learned a lot from them,” Stortz says.
He recalls a patient who came to see him with vague complaints of abdominal pain shortly after he joined the clinic.
He sent the patient to the hospital for some further testing, and as a result, an urgent operation was performed later that day.
“A few months later, my wife and I were standing in line for dinner at a community fundraiser, when out of the corner of my eye I saw him run up to me,” Stortz says. “He said ‘Dr. Stortz! Dr. Stortz! You saved my life!’
“It was a touching moment,” Stortz says, “I still see him as a patient, and sometimes around town. He is very proud of his scar, and he shows it to me occasionally. Situations like this make me realize the high level of trust that my patients and their families have in me.”
Stortz is a leader with clinic staff and in the community.
He serves as liaison between the Citizens Memorial administration and the doctors regarding the use of electronic medical records and is also an active participant on the pharmacy, therapeutics and health maintenance committees. He also is a frequent volunteer with the Polk County Health Department’s free clinic and was a participant in the 2010 Leadership Bolivar Program, a 12-week program of the Bolivar Area Chamber of Commerce that nurtures current and future community leaders.
He says most of his leadership, however, comes through one-on-one patient encounters.
“Patients come to me for guidance, often at some of the toughest times in their lives. The longer I practice medicine, the more I realize that patients do not remember a great diagnosis or an elaborate scientific explanation of how their medication works. Rather, they remember that I know the names of their children and where they work,” Stortz says. “ I share their joy when things go well, and I show my empathy when things are not going well. ”Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.