The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

New SH doctor grew up in Gold Beach, prefers small towns


March 7, 2018

DR. CARL HOOGESTEGER, Sweet Home's newest doctor, stands in a treatment room at Sweet Home Family Medicine.

Dr. Carl Hoogesteger, Sweet Home Family Medicine's newest physician, is familiar with small-town Oregon life.

He grew up in Gold Beach, a small coastal town of 2,000 people. There were 60 kids in his graduating class.

"It was totally normal if you dated girls that your friends also dated, [and] everyone goes to the football game," he said. "So I kind of feel like I know small-town Ore-gon."

Hoogesteger, an only child, remembers a pretty good childhood. He liked to play outside, and romp around the trees across from his home, but the Rogue River was his favorite place to go camping.

His father mainly worked as the watershed coordinator in Kern County, Calif., while his mom was a PE and health teacher, and librarian.

"She worked in my high school; I couldn't get away with anything in high school," he joked.

Hoogesteger earned his medical degree at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb., where he also volunteered at a student-run clinic for the homeless.

"They focused on service, getting out and helping people," he said of the university. "It's a great opportunity for students to get to see a patient in a setting they wouldn't otherwise, but also to help out the community."

After three years of residency in Fort Bragg, NC, Hoogesteger was in the Army at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. where he took care of military families and retirees. Then he returned to Oregon to spend 18 months working at the Native American Rehabilitation Association in Gresham.

The family physician said he got into this line of work because he wants to help people, but also found the research interesting.

"I like that medicine has a science component to it," he said. "They research, they study what works, what doesn't, and use data to try to see what we can do to improve peoples' health. I found it fascinating, and I found anatomy fascinating."

He's particularly curious about diabetes and chronic pain problems.

"There's a lot of research being done, a lot of new treatments that have come out in the past few years," he said. "Chronic pain is kind of a mystery. We don't know what causes a lot of chronic pain."

Hoogesteger moved to Sweet Home in January in order to take a position at Samaritan's Sweet Home Family Medicine.

"I heard good things about Samaritan. They take good care of their employees, they're service-based, and a nonprofit; they want to help out the community," he said.

Plus, he added, Portland has too many people and he wanted to return to a smaller area.

"You get to know people, and build relationships with people and families," he said of small town life.

Though he's only been here a little over a month, Hoogesteger hopes to eventually find out what opportunities are in the area for a little fun and recreation. He likes camping, fishing, gardening and running, and is thinking about taking up hunting.

His only housemates include two cats, Panther and Solvang, both of whom he rescued from the Humane Society in Fort Leonard Wood.

Dr. Hoogesteger is currently accepting new patients from Sweet Home.


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