OHH welcomes new doctor: Christie Caceres, MD
Dr. Caceres was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and grew up in the Republic of Peru, a South American country bordered by Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, and Chile and nestled next to the Pacific Ocean. Leaving behind the mountain, ocean and rainforest views in pursuit of medicine, Caceres found her way to Louisiana to complete her medical residency at Louisiana State University (LSU) as part of the LSU Rural Family Medicine program. “LSU has one rural residency at the Our Lady of Angels Hospital in Bogalusa, Louisiana, a small town with 7-10,000 people. The hospital is small, but has recently expanded, Caceres said.”
Caceres earned acceptance to medical school immediately after graduating high school. “In Peru, they require you to take a test where you’re competing against 800 or so people for two or three spots in medical school. Students with the highest score are admitted,” Caceres explained.
With rigorous admission parameters, medical school for a high school student in Peru is a goal that students set early. For Caceres, she said medicine was a dream for as long as she could remember. “My uncle was training to be a doctor, but during his last year of medical school, he died in an accident. [My uncle] was my inspiration,” Caceres recalled. “I remember a patient came to my house—when I was with my grandmother—with a bag of carrots, which was how they showed gratitude. In Peru, they give you carrots, beans, eggs or something like that. I thought, ‘Oh my God, that is so nice.’” Many families share food to express love; those expressions of love and gratitude are what remains appealing to Caceres, and what she allows to spill over into her practice of medicine.
“My medical philosophy is to treat my patients like family. I treat my older patients like my grandma because that is how I would want others to treat my grandma,” Caceres said while commenting on the importance of honesty. “I believe in being honest. If I don’t know, I will say ‘we can figure it out.’ We need to read more to find the answer, and we will work together.”
Caceres’ solid medical philosophy, coupled with her experience in global health, has equipped her to handle challenges associated with the practice of rural medicine. After finishing medical school in 2010, Caceres worked one year at a rural hospital in Peru. In 2015, she worked as a physician assistant for a neurosurgeon before beginning her residency. Following her residency, she completed a fellowship in global health and participated in several mission trips in Peru, Honduras and Kenya.
Why Olney? Caceres responded without hesitation, stating, “When I arrived in Olney to interview, Grace Perez is one of the first people I met. She welcomed me and hugged me. That is not something people really do. I met others, and everyone was so nice. Also, I trained at a hospital similar to [Olney Hamilton Hospital]. In a small hospital, you are so close to everyone. I feel the sensation of home here in Olney,” Caceres said.
Caceres wants potential patients to know that she is accepting new patients from babies to older adults. She is multifaceted and is excited about practicing obstetrics/gynecology as a family practice, which is one thing she loves about the opportunity with Olney Hamilton Hospital. “I love that I can help people from babies to adults. I can provide lots of services to patients. I believe rural family medicine is my type of medicine because you can do more for patients. I love to deliver a baby and follow the [baby] to adulthood. I love the environment of the family where the baby is my patient, and the mother and grandma are my patients.” Caceres said she is looking forward to meeting new patients. Review her specialties in the opposite ad and call the Olney Family Clinic to book an appointment.