McFarland Clinic

Q&A: Dr. Michelle Heim on Women's Health

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April 11, 2012

Michelle Heim, DO, is a family medicine practitioner at the McFarland Clinic Carroll Office. She joined the clinic in August 2011.

Why did you decide to become a family medicine practitioner?

A career in the medical field was always something I aspired for. Family Practice was a natural selection for me. I enjoy seeing healthy patients at their well visits but I also like the day to day variety of a family practice office. Also, I saw a huge need for primary care doctors in rural Iowa and wanted to fill that need.

What approach do you take to practicing medicine?

I have fairly simple philosophy with my practice in that I want to help my patients maintain a good quality of life. With my younger patients I encourage them to make healthy decisions that will allow them to maintain an active, happy life. With my older patients I encourage them to decide what their wishes are for the future and how I can best help them accomplish these goals in their later years.

Why did you decide to come back to the Carroll area to practice medicine?

I grew up in Auburn, which is just north of Carroll. My husband grew up in Lake City which is also close by. Moving home was always the plan after I completed school and residency. The group of physicians at McFarland Clinic seemed like the best decision for me when I was making the choice of where to practice. They seemed to have the goals and ideals most like my own.

What types of appointments are made with you?

I am a general practitioner, with a strong interest in obstetrics and pediatrics. My patients can range from infants to elderly adults. I also have a strong background in women's health.

What types of women’s health appointments can be made with you?

 I do all health maintenance appointments. These include well woman exams, pap smears, contraception management and routine OB appointments. Most other health screenings can be ordered through my office such as mammogram, colonoscopy, cholesterol screening, etc.

If you had to choose 3 things that every woman should do regarding her personal health, what would they be?
  1. Exercise, adults should aim to get 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
  2. Maintain good sleep hygiene; try for 8 hours of sleep each night.
  3. Eat a balanced diet, eat from each food group. Be sure to practice moderation.
As a mother, wife and physician, how do you incorporate healthy living into your family’s lifestyle?

Now that the weather is nicer, my family and I try to spend our evenings outside. I encourage my daughter, who is just starting to form her own ideas about foods, to eat fruits and vegetables as snacks.

Children should get 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
What is your favorite part of your job?

I love the babies. I especially love well child visits and watching the little ones grow up. It's exciting to see them every few months and to watch how much they change and watch their personalities start to develop.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Heim, call 712-792-1500.

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