My Jerry Maguire Moment

I’m in college working as a nurses aid in a nursing home. There’s a patient, Barb, who is like a body still alive but with no one home.

Barb had multiple strokes. The doctors have no solution for her other than to have her bodily functions constantly cared for. My job is to take her down to lunch, feed her, bathe her and put her to bed.

One day, out of boredom, I start telling Barb about my day. I get what I expect, absolutely no response. But it becomes my habit to talk to Barb whenever I’m caring for her.

Three days into this, I say, “Hey Barb, there’s this super cute redhead named Jen. I want to ask her out but I’m really nervous.”

And I see it.
Barb turns her head towards me.
There is someone in there!

Things progressed fast from there. Soon Barb was squeezing my hand, feeding herself, and telling me stories about her late husband Joe and her Three kids.

By the end of the summer, I’d say, “Barb, let’s see what’s on the radio? Want to dance?” Then I’d stand her up, with safe space between us, and we’d rock back and forth. I’d say,
I love you. “I love you to,” she’d whisper.

My experience with Barb prompted me to become a doctor. And it taught me to look past the “symptoms”, and “prescriptions,” to always seek the deeper solution.

Fast forward to when I’m 32

After I’ve completed med school, after a 3 year family medicine residency, after I’ve done fellowship in nonsurgical orthopedics and sports medicine, and while I’m working as
a physician for a large hospital based medical clinic.

I’m seeing 25-30 patients a day with pressure to see more and make money for the system. Patients with chronic pain conditions and arthritis are all on narcotic medication, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, antidepressants and cortisone shots. The negative side effects and risks are rarely discussed. And after invasive procedures and multiple surgeries, many patients aren’t healed.

I can see firsthand that the traditional medical care, big box hospital system I’m in is broken. But I still remember how I felt with Barb’s “awakening” and I’m determined to restore health without drugs or surgery.

So in 2008, I quit my job to create my own clinic. I feel like Jerry Maquire, leaving to try and live up to my Manifesto, “True health is achieved by creating truly healthy people.”

My first two hires were former patients, Susan, a nurse with expertise in Hormone Therapy and functional medicine, and JR, personal trainer who got great results with his clients by helping them make lifestyle changes.

With the three of us onboard, Rejuv Medical was born!

Today Rejuv Medical is a team of 80 employees.

We’re proud and humbled that together we’ve redefined healthcare, lead the way in regenerative medicine, and been awarded three consecutive years for Central Minnesota’s Best Speciality Physician (An award given to me, but truly shared by my team).

I love my profession as a doctor, physician and a healer. And even though it’s 20 something years later, that summer with Barb is still very much a part of me. It’s my touchstone to the potency of truly caring for your patients and addressing the root cause.

About Dr. Joel Baumgartner

Dr. Joel Baumgartner is a board certified physician with a specialized fellowship in non-surgical orthopedics and sports medicine.

He earned his medical degree from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, and completed his family practice residency at the University of North Dakota. Dr. Baumgartner completed his advanced training in sports medicine with a fellowship in primary care sports medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center.

He utilizes the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to better treat musculoskeletal injury and pain. As an international speaker, he instructs both physicians and those in the medical industry on pain evaluation, diagnosis and the latest treatment options. Dr. Baumgartner has authored a book on Prolotherapy and PRP technique, He is also a contributing author on the subject of pain management for a variety of other popular publications. His family and faith remain his priority. Dr. Baumgartner’s favorite name to be called is “Daddy”.