Michael Thomas Napierkowski, MD
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I speak: English
My gender: Male
Where I practice
A Colorado native, I graduated from Air Academy High School in 1986. Thirteen productive, but cold and damp years of school at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and training at the University of Iowa ended for me in 1999, when I was assigned to the United States Air Force at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. From there, I was deployed to even warmer surroundings in Pakistan and Qatar, while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 2001. Fulfilling both personal and professional goals, I returned to Colorado in 2003, where many of my immediate family still remain. My wife agreed to marry me in 1992, adding not only nine letters to her last name, but eventually also six children to her life. Together, we enjoy the happy chaos of raising our loving family, which spans every stage from toddler tantrums to budding careers.
About my practice
After entering medical school expecting to become a pediatrician, I surprised myself by gravitating toward surgery, realizing that few physicians other than surgeons enjoy the same privilege of curing disease (as opposed to treating it). My interest in general surgery arose as I recognized the breadth and depth of the field, which forever allows new challenges and endless variety, though I have a special interest in gastrointestinal and breast pathology. I believe that illness and injury are best addressed in a collaborative effort involving the sincere and informed input of the patient and the physician. This process should incorporate family members and other medical professionals to provide a complete perspective regarding the options available and their ability to meet the patient's needs and hopes. I strive to meet the emotional and spiritual concerns of patients struggling to understand and to overcome all manner of simple and complex disease processes, providing them with the insight necessary to make informed decisions regarding their own health care.
How I thrive
Wellness can be equated to wholeness, incorporating mind, body and soul into each day. My professional position with Kaiser Permanente has allowed me time to rekindle my lifetime interests in drawing and reading. A day lacking physical activity represents to me a lost opportunity to challenge my limitations and to explore my surroundings, so I try to maintain fitness through hiking, running (including several marathons), and cross training. Prayer provides me guidance and perspective, and brings consolation in moments of sorrow. For this reason, I pursued a second major in theology during my undergraduate studies and focus much of my current reading on spiritual subjects. Nothing brings me more joy than spending time with my wife and children, especially during our legendary road trip adventures, traversing the nation to explore its national parks. As a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, I follow college football avidly, and firmly believe that there is no off-season for discussing such important matters. My other sports allegiances include the Chicago Cubs, a devotion which I have acclaimed with greater pride since the 2016 World Series alleviated 108 years of not-so-patient waiting.
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