(08/24/2006)
By Drew Moody
drewmoody@verizon.net

One year (this week) after opening the doors of her clinic Dr. Hilary Miller, D.O., M.P.H., finds that she's the only full-time doctor in Gilmer County.

Little Kanawha Family Medicine, located in Glenville, has over 1,000 patients - not typical of a first year endeavor.

"Most new doctors in a community don't get that kind of a response," Dr. Miller said.

It's likely there are numerous reasons for such a response, beyond her easy-going manner.

Opening the office in Glenville was a homecoming for Dr. Miller, a native of Gilmer County.

Her roots here run deep, and most people know it. "There's five generations of us here in Gilmer County," she said.

Family is very important to Dr. Miller. She briefly reflected on her great grandmother, who at 96, is doing well.

It was the main reason she returned; both to be with her family and to have children.

Of her two young daughters she says, "They're my biggest accomplishment and biggest concern."

She helps her parents with gardening and enjoys walks in the country on the family farm. A miniature horse was a recent addition there.

Dr. Miller is mostly successful restricting her work hours so her roles as mom and doctor don't overly compete.

In fact, this connection to family, plays a part in Dr. Miller's success because a significant number of patients are either friends of the family, relatives, friends of relatives, and the like.

"We know most of the people that come in," she said.

At times, in quieter moments, it's a bit overwhelming for her to think about the numbers of people who turn to her for help. "If you stop and think about it, it can knock the wind out of you."

She recalled one elderly patient who recently said, "Now it's your job to keep me alive."

One goal of her practice is to improve the quality of life of her patients. And accomplish that in the most effective, least expensive way possible.

Sometimes that requires some creative effort. ...

... read more at  wvmountainsun.com


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