Dieter Kreckel, M.D., Director Rural Track Site
Hometown: Hamburg, Germany
Medical School: Temple University Medical School
Undergraduate:Shippenburg State University
Edinboro State University
Major: B.S. in Biology
Masters: Wildlife Biology
Washington State University
Residency: St Josephs Hospital and Health Center Syracuse, NY
My journey to Maine began sometime ago across the ocean in Germany. My family moved to Canada from there, actually to Newfoundland which, even today, is a part of Canada. Eventually we moved to the US and became naturalized citizens. When I was about 4-5 years old I informed my mother that I wished to be a doctor. Like all parents she told me that “it would be nice” but don’t get your hopes up too much. The dream remained and while at Shippensburg State College I decided to go for it all. Somehow I was able to get through it all and obtained my degree from Temple University Medical School.
My wife, whom I met while in medical school, and I then embarked on our Air Force career. Our first stop was up in “the county” in northern Maine. That followed by time back in my home country of Germany. We returned to the states and began teaching residents at the Family Medicine program at Andrews AFB. At each assignment I was able to continue practicing both in and outpatient medicine. Finishing my time in the Air Force as a reservist, I am now retired.
I have always wanted to practice in a rural area and one that was in need of physicians. You remember, it is the the horse and buggy thing. When we decided to leave the wanderings of the Air Force and find a place to settle down, that was one of the requirements. We also had to stay within striking (driving) distance to families. The northeast with its four seasons was our best bet. Newfoundland is really rural as is northern Maine, but both were just a little too far from family. That meant we needed to find a place that was a bit closer. Rumford is rural and was certainly in need of physicians and health care.
The changes in medicine have made it clear that there is a need to teach students and residents what it is to be a physician in rural America (or elsewhere). When asked if we at Swift River would like to teach residents we jumped at the opportunity to develop and run Rural Tract residency program with the folks at CMMC. I firmly believe in the value of a well trained Family Physician providing the full range of health care for their friends and neighbors. My practice includes patients of all ages and I am often seen at local sporting events (including the ski slopes), just in case someone needs a little help.
Having been to Europe, traveled across the US a couple of times and various other trips one might say that we love to travel, you would of course be right. Being a Family physician, my family is a major part of my life. My wife and I are now grandparents, so spoiling kids is now a fun thing. Photography, hiking, kayaking, gardening, taking our Elkhound out are activities that “usually” keep me out of trouble.
I am also involved with community activities/committees and in organized medicine. Currently, I serve as delegate from the Maine Academy of Family Medicine to the Congress of the American Academy of Family Physicians and am on the Board of the Maine Medical Association.
John Kroger, M.D., FAAFP, Medical Director Swift River Health Care
Rural Track Faculty, Pres. Medical Staff-Rumford Hospital
Hometown: Sudbury, Massachusetts
Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Undergraduate: Bates College, Lewiston, ME
Residency: Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, PA
I grew up in what I thought was a small and rural town outside of Boston. Perhaps by the standards of a big city, that may have seemed to be the case, but it is nothing like the community and environment of living in rural Maine, in the midst of the mountains and rivers and forests. Having moose and deer come through our yard on many occasions is something that my nine children have become used to seeing on a regular basis.
I had an interest in pediatrics from an early age, but it was not until I was in college that I had ever even heard of the medical specialty of family medicine. The idea of one doctor who delivers babies, takes care of elderly patients and does “everything in between” seemed almost archaic, but it has provided me with the most amazing job I could have ever asked for.
I met my wife while we were in college in Maine, and our goal from the time we got married while I was in medical school in Texas was to make it back to the Northeast. After graduating from medical school and completing my residency training in the heart of “Amish country” in Pennsylvania, I have found that being a physician who is truly taking care of families, multiple generations, through good times and bad is the most rewarding career I could ever imagine.
Anne Johnson M.D.
Rural Track Faculty
Anne Johnson, MD
Hometown: Roseau, Minnesota
Medical School: University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Duluth, Minnesota
Undergraduate: Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Major: B.A. in Biochemical Sciences
Residency: St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Syracuse, New York
I grew up in a tiny town in northern Minnesota, with big dreams of getting out to the city and becoming a scientist on the cutting edge. Yet, after many urban and wilderness adventures I found that working in underserved communities and being close to nature fed my soul. I spent college summers working with doctors in Alaska, which solidified my plans to become a rural family physician.
I took a few detours along the way. First I was a snowboard bum in Colorado. Then I went home to the University of Minnesota-Duluth for medical school, which focuses on training doctors for rural primary care. However, I was lured away to Obstetrics and Gynecology because I love women’s health. I did a year of residency in Ob/Gyn at Dartmouth, where I met my spouse, a nurse. I left Dartmouth after a year and we stayed in New Hampshire while I worked 3 years as an advocate for victims of domestic and sexual violence at a non-profit. I found my way back to family medicine, and we moved to Syracuse, NY where I completed residency training.
I finally found what I was looking for here in Maine. We are close to my wife’s family and the New England mountains we love. I take care of my patients of all ages in the clinic and the hospital, and deliver and take care of their babies. The relationships with my patients and community are my greatest rewards, and I am passionate about both practicing and teaching full-spectrum family medicine. I have found that in the current medical system, working like a traditional country doctor IS cutting edge - with our teams, we provide excellent, cost effective care to people with great need. I am happy to have found a group of faculty, staff, residents and students at CMMC FMR and Rumford Hospital with common inspiration and commitment.
Like many folks here, I have outdoor hobbies: hiking, snowboarding, canoeing, camping, and snowmobiling. I also love poetry, politics, good books, good food, and music of all kinds.
Stephanie Sinclair M.D.
Rural Track Faculty
Hometown: Wareham, MA
Medical School: Medical School for International Health
Graduate: Drexel University, MPH
Undergraduate: Eastern University
Major: Honors Chemistry
I graduated from a specialty school in international medicine, and believed that I would already be working overseas by now, but I fell in love with Maine and practicing in a rural area. I have had the pleasure of working in numerous other countries, and continue to hold this close to my heart. Now, I enjoy a great practice with great diversity, including pediatrics, obstetrics, inpatient, and outpatient medicine. It is my dream job.
I chose to work for the rural track faculty because I firmly believe in the mission of rural medicine to provide great care to areas where access to medical care is limited. I believe that sharing that passion with new providers and medical students is a gift that I am lucky to be able to provide.
My faith, family, and friends
Travel and International Medicine
I’m a foodie, I love to cook, bake, and eat just about everything
Red Sox baseball
Shoes (and all other major accessories, of course)