Fern G. Russak, MD
I speak: English
My gender: Female
Where I practice
I was born and raised in sunny Southern California. I met my husband in medical school. Medicine seemed to me the ultimate opportunity to blend scientific and humanistic knowledge. My husband and I were both interested in primary care. He trained in family medicine and I chose pediatrics. Eventually, we traded sleepless nights on call for sleepless nights raising our two kids. Even though our son and daughter are now young adults, there is still nothing as humbling and rewarding as being a parent. Our own children’s challenges and illnesses have taught me powerful lessons that have made me a better pediatrician. My husband’s career change from family medicine to public health brought our family to Portland, Oregon. I love this drizzly town with its beautiful neighborhoods, parks and friendly culture.
About my practice
People often bring their worries to the doctor. It is our job to use all of our training and experience to identify problems and treat them the best way we know how. Medical problem solving is a wonderful challenge. In the past, I have worked in specialty settings with kids with complex medical or developmental problems. I now enjoy working in a general pediatric clinic. I am fortunate to work with an amazing group of pediatricians at East Interstate Medical Clinic. When we have a tough case, we consult one another and our patients come out ahead. Pediatricians are fortunate to spend a lot of their energy supporting healthy growth and development and marveling and the wonder of human development. Not only do I enjoy watching children’s grow and develop. I enjoy accompanying adults on their journey through parenthood and teenagers becoming adults. I am humbled by the miracle of healthy growth as well as the strength and determination of families coping with illness and disabilities.
How I thrive
I love getting my hands dirty and coaxing a summer harvest out of our tiny yard. Exercise keeps me sane. Jogging buddies generate “friend-endorphins” and I often tuck my graying hair under a helmet and bicycle to work. I think it is important to “change the channel” in our brains. Practicing music is like meditation for me. I play trombone in an amateur jazz band. There is nothing quite like the joy making music with other people.