Mitchell — Teresa Campbell faced many challenges on her path to becoming a doctor.
But thanks to a few people she calls “angels,” Mitchell’s longtime doctor overcame obstacles and went on to enjoy a illustrious career that spanned nearly three decades.
After more than 30 years in the medical field, Campbell is about to shed his lab coat and enter the next chapter of his life: retirement.
“I don’t know how I would have survived this without Angel. I loved what I did, but I’m ready to retire and be with my grandchildren more.” Campbell said.
Looking back on her career, Abella’s longtime physician noted her relationships with patients and colleagues as “one of the most rewarding experiences” she’s had over the years.
When Campbell entered the medical field in the early 1990s, she said, female doctors were somewhat of an anomaly. But that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor.
After opening her practice in Mitchell nearly 20 years ago, Campbell was one of the few female doctors in the Mitchell area. She recalls Campbell encountering subtle signs from others who were unattractive on her path as a doctor, but she broke down barriers and convinced women doctors to stay here. showed.
“I remember some of your looks and statements about me being a doctor. We discovered that there are patients,” Campbell said.
The recent promotion of Hilary Rockwell, named CEO of Avera Queen of Peace, was a proud moment for Campbell. She said her Rockwell promotion was a sign of continued progress for women in the medical field, and that progress was being advanced by Campbell and her longtime colleagues, a handful of women. rice field.
Campbell’s ability to overcome life’s challenges she faced on her path to becoming a doctor was a trait inherited from her late mother, Patricia Campbell.
In the end, her mother survived the horrors of World War II and was able to escape her London home, which was destroyed in the Nazi-led blitzkrieg of the late 1930s. Her intrepid voyage to America when her Patricia was in her teens inspired her Teresa to keep chasing her dreams no matter what obstacles presented.
“She was a warrior. I learned a lot from her. She was always there to support me.
While attending medical school at the University of South Dakota, Campbell raised her first child as a single mother and maintained good grades. The first angel came into her life that she believes played a major role.
When she was finishing her residency, Campbell met her future husband, Chris Lippert, who is now the director of the operating room at Avella Queen of Peace Hospital. She had more time to focus on her studies because she had more responsibility off her shoulders.
“He did everything. After we got married, while I was still in residency, he did all the cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids when I couldn’t,” Campbell said in her “I would wake up at 6am every morning and study for an hour. Then I would wake my son up and take him to nursery school until a friend volunteered to pick him up.”
Lippert was in the process of becoming a nurse when the two began dating. The couple bonded over her passion for the medical field. Little did they know that years later, they would continue working in the same Mitchell medical system.
Coming from humble beginnings, Campbell was determined to become the first doctor in her family.
Campbell’s final residency role in Sioux Falls was made possible with the help of a friend who housed her in a house near Colton, whom she calls another pivotal angel.
After completing her residency, Campbell decided to open her own practice at Mitchell, which she said had its own set of challenges.
“We had to sit down every month to figure out what we needed to claim and how many people we needed. Working on the business side was starting to burn me out,” Campbell said. said.
When she became more interested in making a difference, Avera Health came along. Campbell jumped at the opportunity to practice family medicine with the Avera Healthcare system.
As the medical field evolved and new technologies such as telemedicine were implemented, Campbell adapted. Some of the newer techniques provided an extensive medical history for each patient. This was an important advance in the field, he said, Campbell.
“When I first started, everything was still handwritten or typed. We use a dictaphone and have someone type everything. Being able to see the drugs you were taking, the tests you had, the doctors you saw,” Campbell said. “Technology was always changing.”
survive the pandemic
Just when Campbell thought he had seen it all, the pandemic hit in 2020.
Caring for patients amid COVID-19 has been difficult in itself, but Campbell said “people who don’t believe in the seriousness” of the virus are the hardest part of getting through it. rice field.
The severity of the pandemic was close to home for Campbell, as a deadly respiratory virus killed her brother at its peak.
“The most difficult thing was the severity of it, so many patients died and some people didn’t believe it. “Some people told me it was all fake.”
In the midst of a pandemic, face-to-face visits and consultations with patients have suddenly become virtual using telemedicine technology. Like many communities, Mitchell was hit hard, forcing elderly doctors like Lucio Margaro and Campbell into virtual practice at some point.
“The only patients we could see in person were urgent cases or emergency related. I was checking,” she said.
Despite the difficult times brought on by the pandemic, Campbell said “nothing will change” about her decision to become a doctor in the community she loves.
Campbell said of her medical career: