Newton Clinic and Skiff Medical Center are welcoming back Dr. Mureema Solberg, who will start seeing patients on Wednesday.
Solberg started at Newton Clinic in 1996 and served as a family practice physician for 11 years. During that time, she and her husband Dr. Min Pak, also of Newton Clinic, welcomed three daughters: Lienne in 1998, Chloe in 2000 and Eva in 2007. At that point, Solberg opted to go on extended family leave.
“I decided to stay home for a year because we had these young children,” Solberg said. “I so enjoyed it that I decided to extend it out.”
During the years following Eva’s arrival,Solberg loved her time at home — but never once doubted that she would return to medicine.
“I did miss it,” she said. “I enjoy people, I enjoy medicine and the intellectual challenge of it. I made sure to keep myself up to date, doing lots of reading and having lots of medicine-based discussions with Min.”
Solberg knew she would make her career as a physician ever since her undergraduate years at Minnesota’s St. Olaf College, where she double majored in chemistry and German. While becoming a doctor is a lengthy journey — one that would eventually take her to the University of Iowa, where she met Dr. Pak, residency in Davenport and finally a career in Newton — it paled compared to the distances she’d traveled in her youth.
The daughter of missionaries and teachers, Solberg was born in Africa and grew up in Papua New Guinea. Around the time she turned 13, the family returned to the United States, where her father’s job as a pastor moved them around the midwest, including Iowa, North Dakota and her parents’ home state of Minnesota.
Given her unique and varied background, Solberg said it makes sense that she loves not only languages, with experience in French, Korean, German and others, but cultures and people, too.
“I think that’s one of the reasons I pursued family practice,” she said. “I was interested in working with a wide variety of individuals, with a wide variety of challenges and conditions. I didn’t want to become a specialist and just give the same handful diagnoses over and over again.”
Solberg is particularly interested in working with patients to help patients solve or manage chronic health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression and anxiety. She has a reputation for spending as much time with her patients as they need; that’s likely a big reason she was so missed during her absence.
“I would be shopping in town and whenever I’d see former patients, the question was always, ‘When are you coming back?’” she said. “And now that I am, they know it. I already have a couple of my favorite patients on the schedule for my first day back.”
With Solberg’s return, Newton Clinic is now up to 18 practicing health-care providers – seven of whom are female.
“I think that’s great for the people of Jasper County to have the option to see a female physician,” Solberg said. “It’s not uncommon for female patients to want to be seen by a female. Newton Clinic gives people that choice.”
Solberg will be seeing patients on Wednesdays and Fridays. To schedule an appointment with her, call (641) 792-2112 or visit www.newtonclinic.com to learn more about Newton Clinic.