Kristen Helvig, MD
- Family medicine
- Dermatologic office procedures
- Complex chronic disease management
- Preventive care
- Health care education
- Women's Health
- Whole Family Care
- Contraceptive Methods
- Family Planning
What is your practice philosophy? Medicine is a team sport. I foster an environment in which provider and patient know we are working with compassion, communication and cooperation towards the same goals. We’ll decide together on what is right for you and your health, and what other team members we need to engage to achieve those goals.
Why did you become a provider? When did you know this was the career for you? My father was a family physician, and when I was young, everyone would always ask me if I was going to be a doctor, too. I invariably responded with a resounding NO. In spite of excellent modeling from a father who was clearly passionate about his career, I thought of medicine as all science. Then, as a college student in the middle of my English Writing and German degrees, I witnessed a team of paramedics assist an injured hiker on the side of a mountain. They showed me that the relationships involved in the art of medicine contribute just as much to an exceptional experience for both patient and provider as does the science. Seeing that firsthand made it clear that this was the career for me.
One of the challenges of this career that I enjoy is (and why): Developing relationships with patients is both the most rewarding and the most challenging aspect of this career. It is not easy to be able to fully understand the perspective, history, traditions, hopes and fears of the person in the room in just a few minutes. Building that trust takes time and real commitment. A busy clinic makes that tough, but it is always worth it.
My personal health goal is: My goal is to be able to stay as active as possible for as long as I live.
What is the best thing you’ve done for your health or the best health advice you’ve received? Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. –Michael Pollan
What are you most proud of? I started running in college, during a time in my life when physical and emotional health were not priorities for me. I used to always say that the only reason to run was if one was being chased by a bear. One day I decided it was time to conquer that, although based on my health at the time, I was not at all convinced that I could be successful. When I started, I could only do a couple of laps, running a quarter of the way around the track and walking the rest. In the intervening 25+ years, I have completed 6 half marathons in 3 different countries, as well as sprint triathlons, and multiple other endurance events. I am proud of my journey from being entirely unable and unwilling to run, as well as unsure if it was even a possibility, to making running an essential part of my week. I am also proud of how this is not something I have any natural ability for, so the work I do to achieve exercise goals is all the more satisfying.
- Family medicine
- Outdoor activities
Years of experience
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Major health plans we participate in
- Allina Health | Aetna
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
Other health plans we participate in
- America's PPO
- First Health/Coventry
- Hennepin Health (formerly Metropolitan Health Plan)
- South Country Health Alliance
- United Behavioral Health
- Wisconsin Physician Services (WPS)