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Long time between doctor visits for North Dakota man

Andrew Swenson, right, listens to a patient's heartbeat while being observed by Dr. Thomas Seaworth at New York Mills Stanford Health Clinic. Swenson is shadowing the doctor as part of his rotation to become a doctor himself. Photo by Christopher Michalski/FOCUS

You will have to forgive Andrew Swenson if he can't remember much about his first meeting with Dr. Thomas Seaworth.

Swenson, now 25 years old, of Thomson, N.D., was delivered by Dr. Seaworth more than two-and-a-half decades ago.

The two recently reunited through one of Andrew's six medical rotations at the Sanford Health Clinic in New York Mills. The chance occurrence has brought Swenson full circle. He is shadowing the man who helped bring him into the new world.

Swenson spent his high school years as a second baseman and cornerback for Fargo North High School. He completed his Bachelor's of Science degree in zoology ('08) at North Dakota State University.

Swenson is currently a third year medical student at UND. Third year medical students are required to complete six two-month rotations in the specialized areas of medicine; surgery, obstetrics, psychiatry, pediatrics, internal medicine and family medicine. He is now finishing his family medicine rotation at the NY Mills Sanford Health Clinic after spending his first month at the West Fargo location.

Swenson doesn't believe the change in fields is that much of a difference for him.

"I always had the passion for medicine," said Swenson "The human aspect of helping people has always been there. The best side of the medical field is seeing patients who are deeply appreciative of what you do and how you help them."

"My rotation in New York Mills has shown me the best side of the medical field, which is seeing patients who are deeply appreciative of your work," said Swenson.

Dr. Seaworth said the reconnection between he and Swenson is unusual.

"When you deliver babies as a resident you lose contact with the families. I'm the first person Andrew met and it's rewarding to meet him again, in his medical rotations" said Seaworth. "Medical students are given the opportunity to pick which doctor they can shadow in the specialized area. Andrew saw the name of the man who helped bring him into this world and his decision was made."

"Swenson said Seaworth is a great teacher who enjoys having students.

"He's an amazing physician, teacher and a genuinely nice guy," said Swenson. "It's an incredibly rare and unique opportunity to learn from the person who delivered you."

Swenson's two-month rotation is split between the West Fargo Sanford Health Clinic and the NY Mills location.