Young doctors to take next steps in Kingman after graduating from program

Lori Hamilton and Debbie Lapertosa have chosen family practice as the field in which they will do their two-year residencies in Kingman.

But their goals are quite different.

"I'm not sure (where I may eventually go)," Hamilton said.

"This is a beautiful area, so maybe to Bullhead (City) or perhaps Oregon or Northern California.

I want it to be somewhere semi-rural."

Hamilton, who calls San Diego home, began her residency in November and will finish it in November 2004.

She was recognized with Lapertosa and three other graduates of a one-year intern program at Kingman Regional Medical Center on Wednesday night.

Lapertosa said she decided to stay in Kingman for her residency because she wants to practice in a small town.

Her 18-month-old daughter, Parisa, is living with her.

However, her husband is a dentist working for the state of Washington in Seattle, so the separation caused by an internship in Kingman has been difficult.

Her husband will soon move to Kingman, Lapertosa said.

As to where she hopes to wind up following her residency, Lapertosa said, in joking fashion, "Someplace that will pay back my loans."

Lapertosa, of Queens, N.Y., said she chose family practice as her specialty because it offers a little bit of everything from working with the elderly to pediatrics.

But its focus is prevention and helping people stay healthy, she said.

Hamilton said she tried everything before settling on family practice.

"I wanted a field that is general with all ages and topics and offers the challenge of diagnosing, and that's general practice," she said.

Patricia Baron is another intern graduate who will stay in Kingman for a residency in family practice.

She could not attend Wednesday night's ceremony because her mother is ill in Tucson.

The other graduating interns are Carol Yee of Bloomington, Ill., and Dedrick Luikens from Willow Springs, Mo.

Yee said she plans a family practice residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash.

Luikens said he would enter a special operations program in flight surgery at Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, Fla.

The intern program is overseen by the Glendale campus of Midwestern University of Chicago.

It also has programs at St.

Luke's Hospital in Tempe and Mesa General Hospital.

KRMC interns do up to 14 rotations of two to four weeks during one year.

Those rotations are family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, surgery and pediatrics.