Cara Nicole Steinkeler, MD
I speak: English, French
My gender: Female
This provider requires a referral
Where I practice
I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, spending my early years in Tacoma and Bellingham, Washington, and my formative years here in Portland, Oregon. Although there were no health-care providers in my family, and I did not have much exposure to doctors or hospitals, growing up I was drawn to medicine because I liked talking with people and helping them to solve their problems. I was also a “bookworm” and was drawn to the rigors of studying and school. I met my husband, who is also a physician, in 1987, before college or medical school, and we have had extremely different career paths. My chosen specialty, internal medicine, which is the care of adults, is perfect for someone like me with no kids who enjoys interacting with people. It requires an attention to small details that could be important in their care.
About my practice
I have worked at Kaiser Permanente as a hospital-based internist since 1999. I appreciate the integrated care delivery model in which all of the doctors and other health-care providers collaborate to deliver high quality, efficient health care. The partnership between the hospital and health plan side of the organization and the physician group allows us to focus on delivering outstanding care. Because my work is focused in the hospital, I usually meet people for the first time when something is wrong. It is my job to quickly determine what is going on, in the broader context of their overall health, in order to determine, in partnership with the patient and their loved ones, the best course of action. Admitting a patient to the hospital, caring for them while they are hospitalized, then transitioning their care back to their health care team outside the hospital requires a great deal of communication, with the patient and their family, and with other doctors and health-care providers. I enjoy these interactions and the attention to detail required to ensure that these transitions go well to allow patients to recover health and wellness.
How I thrive
When not at work I enjoy traveling to unfamiliar places, experiencing the languages, foods, and customs of other countries. I speak only French and English, so most of the time when traveling, my ability to truly communicate is limited — which adds to the intrigue and excitement. Locally, I enjoy daily walks with my dog — usually with him in the lead and me trailing along behind! My husband and I enjoy cooking meals together and spending time with local family and friends. I still love to read, and took up knitting about 10 years ago, to keep me occupied on long car and plane voyages. Such is the beauty of a hobby: the process rather than the product provides the reward.