Josue Gutierrez, MD, is an independent physician in rural Crete, Nebraska, where he recently established a free clinic alongside his regular clinic. He has managed cluster outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemic and contributed to contact tracing. In 2020, he was named Young Physician of the Year by the Nebraska Medical Association.
At age 7, Josue Gutierrez and his mother were living in Guatemala after fleeing war-torn Nicaragua. There he experienced extreme poverty, but he also saw how a doctor helped his mom, who had chronic medical conditions.
"He helped her not only physically, but mentally and emotionally," Dr Gutierrez says. "That spurred my interest in family medicine."
After finishing his residency 4 years ago, he bought a community clinic in rural Crete, Nebraska, from a larger health system that was shutting it down to focus on more urban populations. He sees mostly Spanish-speaking, uninsured, and underserved patients.
"I truly feel that [the clinic] leaving this area would cause more hardship to this population," Gutierrez says. "We need more doctors in rural areas."
He has been a crucial part of the community's response during COVID-19. The area is home to a meatpacking plant and was an early hot spot. Besides caring for patients, he has managed cluster outbreaks and contributed to contact tracing. He started making videos in Spanish with essential information about COVID-19 to help increase the community's health literacy. He says it prompted the local Telemundo TV station to focus on COVID-19 for Spanish speakers. The Nebraska Medical Association named Gutierrez Young Physician of the Year in 2020.
Gutierrez is currently in the middle of remodeling a former nursing home to create a patient-centered medical home with radiology and ultrasound services, physical therapy, an in-house pharmacy, child care, and mental health care.
"For patients who might not have resources [or transportation] for multiple appointments, they can do everything in one day," Gutierrez says.
As part of Medscape's celebration of our 25th anniversary this year, we're recognizing 25 young physicians who are rising stars in medicine, poised to become future leaders of their fields. View the full list here.
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Cite this: Medscape at 25: Recognizing Medicine's Rising Stars - Medscape - Dec 07, 2020.