Helen S. Duewel, MD
I speak: English
My gender: Female
This provider requires a referral
Where I practice
I grew up in southern California, and decided to become a physician during college while working as a unit secretary in the Loma Linda University Hospital. It seemed to me that doctors had the most wonderful job in the world and I still believe this, decades later. After graduating medical school at Loma Linda, I moved to Portland, Oregon and had a private practice until a locums position opened at Kaiser Sunnyside Urgent Care which allowed me to return to school and complete a residency in Internal Medicine, then a fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). I have worked, or trained, in most of the hospitals in the Portland area but always felt particular loyalty to the Kaiser Permanente system for the efficiency and quality it provides so it was an easy decision to return after my fellowship, and become a senior physician in Internal Medicine. When an opening became available in Geriatric Long Term Care, I was extremely happy to be chosen and this has actually been the highlight of my career. My grandmother in California was a nurse who had an adult family home for elderly women and she remains my role model for the respect, meticulous attention to detail, and personal caring which our older population deserves. I am very proud to be in this role and look forward every day to seeing my patients and doing my best to serve them. They inspire me.
About my practice
I work in skilled rehabilitation facilities four days a week, caring for patients who have been hospitalized for injuries or illnesses who are no longer needing to be in the hospital, but do need additional recovery time before returning home. On the fifth day I see patients residing in nursing homes and memory care units. This department is unique in that Long Term Care has the staff and resources to provide a real medical home: we look at everything from coordinating organ transplant recovery care with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) surgeons, to whether the patient's shoes are properly fitted, and everything in between. It is really gratifying to be able to provide this quality of care in such a coordinated way.
How I thrive
It's all about balance, for me. I love being outside in nature, probably because after growing up in southern California, I feel I live in a paradise (and we do). Dancing is my favorite exercise, unless I'm outside or traveling, and then it's walking (around pyramids in Egypt or in Manhattan, equally good and interesting). Books fill my home, and the New York Times with good coffee is still the best way to start my day. What restores me most however, is time with the people I care about, discussing some idea or being on a little adventure.