Area native coming home to practice medicine

Dr. Josh Ranum to begin seeing patients July 2.

Photo coming from Cindy at hospital



Record Editor

Posted June 22, 2012

Josh Ranum knew growing up in Scranton he wanted to be a doctor, and the 2000 Scranton High School graduate has fulfilled his dream, as he will be practicing in Hettinger, Mott and Lemmon working for West River Health Services.

“Growing up in Scranton I always planned to return to the area and practice rural health care,” said Dr. Ranum. “I really like the people, the patients the area and life style.”

He said some of the benefits of the big city offer opportunities to get detoured along the way, with conveniences like 24-hour grocery stores, but “When I get back to Southwest North Dakota I feel like I’m home and more comfortable,” he said.

Hettinger is an excellent example of how rural health car can, and should be, he said.

“People have access to good health care, and I am excited to be a part of that, and carry on the traditions of excellent health care in North Dakota,” said Ranum.

He went to college in Jamestown, finished at North Dakota State in Fargo and went to medical school in Grand Forks.

Ranum finished his last rotation as a resident in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Monday evening and will be practicing internal medicine (focusing on adult

“Especially as a hospital-based doctor I have seen the difference of how really knowing your patient can make a difference in their health care. If you don’t personally know them, know how they act and are when they are healthy, as a doctor you end up doing more testing, procedures and consultations,” he said.

By developing a good relationship with his patients, he will be able to treat his patients in the most prudent manner possible, with minimal cost and inconvenience to them.

“One of the things about being a physician is the chance to be employed anywhere,” he said. “And we can’t wait to get home and start working in Hettinger.”

Ranum will be seeing patients at the West River Health Clinic in Hettinger on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, in Lemmon on Tuesdays and Mott on Thursdays.

“Traveling to the other clinics is something all the partners do and one of the things the folks who started the Hettinger Clinic had great vision about, starting the satellite clinics, he said. Ranum also has a special connection to Lemmon, as his grandparents were from there. “Without us going to the patients in the smaller towns, they have no doctors at all. I’m excited about the chance to fill in and help out…be a physician in those communities that may not otherwise have one.”

Ranum said it is a tremendous honor, almost a sacred responsibility, to be an integral part of someone’s life as their doctor.

“It’s the moments you can really help someone… see them through the various life stages that make up for all the government red tape and paperwork that goes with the job too,” he said.

Ranum married during medial school, and his wife, Carrie, is in her residency to become a pediatrician. “She will be starting her residency at West River in July and August, and full time in November.” The couple has an 18-month-old daughter, Clarke, and a second baby due in August.

Ranum will begin seeing patients July 2. Appointments may be made by calling West River Health Clinic appointment desk at 1-800-445-6021, Hettinger at 701-567-6104, Mott at 701-824-2391 or Lemmon at  605-374-3773.