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Swift changes for new doctor

Within a month's time, she changed her job, house, marital status and last name.

Dr. Carrie Torgerson began seeing patients at the River Falls Medical Clinic Friday and said she almost doesn't recognize herself when people call for "Dr. Torgerson."

She married Kurt Torgerson last month and they moved to town last Wednesday. She said she isn't yet used to her new last name.

"I've only had this name two weeks," said the doctor.

Torgerson came to River Falls from an Allina clinic in Buffalo, Minn., to work as a family-care practitioner.

"I do everything but have done a lot of obstetrics and pediatric. That was the focus of my practice in Buffalo," she said.

Torgerson completed her residency with two doctors who work at the clinic now, Kari Lijewski and Rita Raverty. They introduced her to the idea of working at the clinic.

"I've been out here socially for the last seven years," she said of her exposure to River Falls, adding that she also took a summer physics class at UW-River Falls.

Torgerson said the hospital and clinic have a very good reputation in the industry, another reason she decided to come aboard. She said it's been an interesting first week getting oriented, moving into a new house, seeing patients and experiencing River Falls Days.

Torgerson said after using an electronic medical records system, working with paper again has required some adjustment in how she works. It's reminded her about the positives of paper records; and, she'll be ready if and when the clinic transitions to an electronic system.

Torgerson's first week also involved walking in the River Falls Days parade. She ended up wet after getting in the line of fire from kids' water guns.

"I'm impressed by all the people who came," she said.

An Anoka, Minn., native, Torgerson said she understands how important the community festivals are. She often participated in Anoka's Halloween celebration, a city billed as the Halloween Capital of the World.

Now a doctor with six years of experience under her stethoscope, Torgerson said the privately-owned practice of the River Falls Medical Clinic offered more of what she wanted. She enjoys interacting with patients, getting to know the whole family and seeing the different generations.

"I enjoy really knowing the families," she said.

Torgerson perhaps best summarizes her approach to medical practice in a statement on RFMC's Web site: "A trusted relationship with patients is the most important part of the family practice. It is rewarding to know generations of families and their stories."