Kristan D. Guenterberg M.D., FACS
The beginning of my career started in elementary school during a health education class. An OB/GYN presented a talk on the physiologic mechanisms of the reproductive system and I remember thinking, “This is so cool.” After discovering how much math and science were also involved in influencing a person’s health, I was hooked.
My interest continued during my undergraduate years at Walla Walla College in eastern Washington where I volunteered in an ER every Saturday night for 2 years. As I witnessed the direct impact physicians had in caring for their patients, this bolstered my desire to become a physician myself.
Rather than limiting myself to a very narrow specialization, I found that I enjoyed a full spectrum of medicine during my clinical rotations at Loma Linda University. As I tended to patients of all ages and from patients who were relatively healthy to extremely ill, I discovered that seeing a variety of people kept me engaged and brought me the most joy. I wanted to make sure that I continue to see patients from all different walks of life. For these reasons, I elected General Surgery as my field.
Upon pursuing General Surgery at The Ohio State University, I acquired and refined my surgical skills. In order to prepare for surgical oncology (cancer surgery), I spent an additional two years in a basic science laboratory researching tumor immunology in breast cancers and melanomas.
At the end of my research, I met my lovely wife. As a family, we wanted to live in the West with the ability to explore nature nearby. I also revisited the joy it brought me to see a wide variety of patients and made the decision not to narrow my scope by sub-specializing in surgical oncology. We committed ourselves to making a positive impact in a smaller community and therefore chose to make Kitsap County our home.
I found Kitsap General Surgery to be a group of surgeons who are dedicated to providing excellent patient care to all. We moved to Kitsap County in 2012 and we’re thankful to have met so many wonderful people since then. We’ve expanded our family as well and are looking forward to raising our two boys and our little girl in this community.
I find that many patients are nervous meeting their doctor for the first time, so it’s my role to provide a comfortable setting where we can talk openly. Effective communication is important in every relationship and I find it crucial between a doctor and patient so that the patient can get the best care.
Upon diagnosis, I take the time to explain the problem and to discuss potential solutions. As a minimally invasive surgeon, I strive to provide quality care in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Sometimes this means that we operate at an outpatient surgery center and occasionally the best solution may be no surgery at all. Although the process varies slightly from person to person, it all starts with good communication and a mutual understanding between doctor and patient. It is my passion to see my patients reach the best possible outcome.