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Focus on Your Health: Dr. Carl Rasmussen Shares the Benefits of Having a Primary Care Physician

Category: Patient Stories
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Dr. Carl Rasmussen, St. Luke's Mount Royal Medical ClinicPublished in The Woman Today Magazine, October/November issue

Where do you go when you have a pressing health concern? The two main options are scheduling a visit with your primary care physician or going to urgent care. Today, some people are choosing to forego a primary care physician and depend solely on urgent care. This option may seem more convenient. However, focusing on staying healthy instead of waiting until you are sick to see a doctor is a better option in the long run.

St. Luke’s growing team of skilled and approachable primary care physicians is committed to helping you manage your health in this way.

Meet Dr. Rasmussen

A recent addition to St. Luke’s team is Dr. Carl Rasmussen. He hails from a small town in South Dakota (Sisseton, if you’re curious), loves the outdoors, and has a passion for people. “I take pride in being able to do what I do every day: helping patients care for themselves and partnering with them in their health care,” Dr. Rasmussen said. Family medicine encompasses a wide range of medical care, and he enjoys the challenges that come with the variety of patients he sees on a daily basis at St. Luke’s Mount Royal Medical Clinic near the UMD campus.

Dr. Rasmussen particularly enjoys partnering with his patients to help them stay active. With his completion of a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship, he has additional training that enables him to provide help with sports-related injuries. This training also helps him promote physical activity and wellness within his practice. His goal is to help patients stay healthy and continue in the activities, sports, and outdoor recreation they enjoy most.

He strives to stay active himself and strongly supports the role that exercise plays in a person’s overall health. Getting outside and breaking a sweat every day is one of Dr. Rasmussen’s tactics to maintain his own physical and mental wellbeing. In addition, he has a balanced approach to what he eats and drinks, feeling that ‘everything in moderation’ is a good rule to live by.

The Benefits of a Primary Care Physician

While he may obviously be biased, Dr. Rasmussen believes that having a primary care physician is the smartest way to manage your health. He pointed out that urgent care is an important part of the health system and definitely has its role to play. However, by only seeing a doctor when you are sick, preventive care is missed, and this kind of care is vital to long-term health.

“The goal of health care should be prevention. This investment in your short-term health can prevent detrimental outcomes down the road,” Dr. Rasmussen explained as he continued to emphasize the benefits of establishing care. Beyond having someone to see when you do get sick, annual check-ups can recognize health concerns early, and are generally covered by insurance. This enables prompt treatment and offers more successful outcomes. Some examples of preventive care include mammograms, pap smears, and other cancer screenings, as well as immunizations that help prevent disease.

In addition, primary care physicians are a great resource when it comes to helping you identify and meet your health goals. Developing a plan for a healthy lifestyle is a large part of preventive care. A primary care physician can provide guidance in that process, as well as connect you with any specialists you may need along the way.

Establishing care is as easy as making a phone call to 218.249.4000. Based on your preferences for clinic location, how quickly you’d like to be seen, and the gender of the provider, a St. Luke’s representative will help you schedule your first appointment with a primary care physician that best suits you.

“The most rewarding part of my job is being able to work with patients in managing their health,” Dr. Rasmussen said. “There’s a lot of responsibility in that, but there’s a lot of reward too. And so, I take it very seriously and I enjoy it.”

St. Luke’s works to provide exceptional care for the community by maintaining a team of doctors who are passionate like Dr. Rasmussen. These physicians are available at 14 primary care clinics across the region. To establish care at St. Luke’s, call 218.249.4000 or visit