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Doctor looks forward to new life with family in Perham

Trisha Marczak/FOCUS Dr. Joshua Chapman is joining the Perham Memorial Hospital as an internal medicine and pediatric doctor. He begins at the end of August.

Dr. Joshua Chapman started medical school at the University of Minnesota with the dream that he would one day return to his small town roots.

For the past 12 years, he's been a student, training for a time in his life when he, his wife and his two children would be able to settle down, buy a home and invest in a community. For Chapman, that time has come - and it's happening in Perham.

Chapman is joining the Perham Memorial Hospital as a doctor with a well-rounded set of skills and abilities. As an internal medicine/pediatrics doctor, he has a wide range of areas he's able to cover, including pediatrics.

While the Perham hospital does have a team of doctors that care for children, it did not have a specialized pediatrician - until Chapman came along.

Chapman said he's looking forward to providing that care for area children and parents, but says he also has confidence in his fellow doctors who have years of experience.

With many families now traveling to Fergus Falls and Fargo to see pediatricians, Chapman said he would be happy to fill that need right here in Perham. But he's careful to say that he wants people to seek his care for their children because they trust him as a doctor and person, not because he holds a fancy degree.

"I want people to trust me," he said. "I want to be more than the title."

Perham Memorial Hospital Community Relations Director Sue Von Ruden said Chapman's presence on the medical team will be an asset to the community and hospital as a whole.

"He is a wonderful compliment to family medicine," she said.

Chapman has been on-hand, shadowing doctors in their day-to-day routine. However, his position doesn't officially start until the end of August.

Until then, he's spending time with his family, which includes his wife, Chanda and two children, Maren, 6, and Jonah, 2. Together, they're enjoying settling down in their new home - the first house they've owned - and taking in the Perham community.

"I've been really impressed with Perham overall," he said.

Hailing from Jackson, Minn., Chapman said he's pleased to be back in a small town, especially one where he and his wife already have family. Perham Cross Country Coach Jeff Morris is his brother-in-law, which has helped with the transition to the new town.

With time now available to spend contributing to causes outside of work, Chapman said he's looking forward to investing in the area.

"I'm looking forward to knowing the community enough to know how I can help," he said.

With two young children, Chapman said he's interested in supporting the schools. As a medical professional, he's passionate about informing people about healthy nutrition and the risk of obesity.

It's that type of interaction that Chapman said he just couldn't get in a big city.

Within his position at the hospital, he's eager to start building relationships with patients and their families, which he considers to be tremendously important.

"I'm looking forward to figuring out my practice style and using what I've learned to help the community," he said.