Meet our Docs: Dr. Anca Voinov took a 17-year break after medical school to raise three children. Now she cares for whole families.
By Kristy Bleizeffer May 15, 2014
Dr. Anca Voinov was born in Romania, immigrated to Canada at age 10 to flee the Communist regime and returned to Romania as a young woman to attend medical school. After graduation, she took a 17-year break to raise her children.
Returning to medical school, she felt her age and experience gave her a huge advantage over her fellow students.
“It was a wonderful experience for me. I felt bad for my young colleagues who would be so quickly overwhelmed and would literally fall apart. It was grueling,” said Voinov, a family-practice physician at Sage Primary Care in Casper where she gets to care for entire families.
The Pulse visited with Dr. Voinov about returning to work after raising a family and why relationships are so important in a changing healthcare model.
How many children do you have?
Three amazing children. Once they were all grown up, I decided I wanted to go back to school because I wanted to go back to medicine and do what I really loved. I have always wanted to help people. I thought what better way than with their health. Going back to school was challenging, but so rewarding because if you love what you do, it is never too late, and you can pretty much overcome any obstacle.
How did you arrive in Casper?
When I was in residency, I had to decide where I was going to apply for my permanent job. My husband actually looked at 1,000 different positions. I was looking for a dry climate with lots of sunshine.
Why did you choose family medicine?
My mother has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and she had her own medical laboratory. She was hoping I would walk in her footsteps. The problem was that in a laboratory you do not have a lot of contact with patients. I knew I would have to go into medicine.
Primary care and family medicine offered the greatest variety. You can do geriatrics, you can do OB/GYN, you can do pediatrics, you can get involved with sports medicine. You can help in so many ways. It is nice, and I like the freedom.
Do you get to see patients grow up then?
Yes. In primary care, you can see an entire family. As soon as I graduated from residency, I wanted to get very comfortable with adults first of all, and then later on pediatrics and maybe some limited OB. I delivered lots of babies, but I think that it is for others. The prenatal care is wonderful, actually, and taking the mom through the whole process. That is wonderful.
I understand that Sage is a patient-centered medical home with the Wyoming Integrated Care Network? Explain what that means.
A patient-centered medical home is like a partnership, or a marriage. It is the idea that we are in this together, so you are going to help me to help you. It is just like any other relationship where you both give and take. It is not just, “I am the doctor, and this is what I am telling you that you have to do it.” In the old days, you did not question your doctor. Now, the patient is involved, and you explain why you want to do something. Patients have access to their medical charts. They have access to their blood work. They have a team of people working with the patient, not just the physician.
I love the idea that, at Sage, part of our schedule is open to same-day visits. If you have a problem and you call, you are able to come in and be seen the day you call; not be told, your doctor is booked for the next month. This is wonderful, and the patients love it. That is the part of the medical home model.
As doctors we were really taught to have a lot of control. Now, we have to work as a team to provide for the patient’s best care. Patients do so much better when we work together. This is the new model of patient-centered health care.
Dr. Voinov is a family practice doctor at Sage Primary Care, 1020 S. Conwell St. She completed two medical degrees, studying in Romania and the Netherlands. She has completed research in viral culture techniques and was awarded the Biopsychosocial Model and Family-Centered Care Award and the McLaren Family Practice Residency Program’s Employee of the Year Award. She is board-certified in family medicine.
Medical School: Saint James School of Medicine, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles;
and University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila,” Bucharest, Romania
Internship: McLaren Regional Medical Center, Flint, Mich.
Residency: McLaren Regional Medical College, Flint, Mich., Family Practice