As we commemorate National Doctors Day today, we’d like to take a moment to thank all the doctors at Telluride Regional Medical Center. These individuals are on the frontlines of healthcare in our region and have been working tirelessly throughout the last two years of a global pandemic.

To celebrate them, we wanted to give you a peek behind the curtain. We asked them a few questions about their journeys to becoming doctors, how they came to Telluride and what keeps them engaged in the community. Please take a moment to get to know them better and join us in thanking each and every one of them for all they do!

What is your favorite part of being a doctor?

Dr. Bill Hall: My favorite part of being a doctor is being able to help people on what may be one of the worst days of their lives.

Dr. Diana Koelliker: I love the science part of medicine. I like to be faced with a problem or issue that someone is having, compiling all the best knowledge I have, and helping them solve it.

Dr. Sharon Grundy: Connecting with patients is my favorite part of this job. I see myself as a guide for people – a guide to maintain health, find health and sometimes through challenging medical journeys that don’t always have happy endings. My personal journey as a physician continues to evolve, but one thing remains – I try to be present for all chapters of people’s lives.

Dr. Christine Mahoney: The intimacy of learning people’s stories is my favorite part of being a doctor. It’s an honor to be let into people’s lives in that way.

What has been your favorite part of working at the Telluride Medical Center?

Dr. Koelliker: My favorite part of working at the med center is taking care of my friends and neighbors and feeling their appreciation for our team.

Dr. Hall: My favorite part of working here is the incredible staff we have and being part of a close-knit team working to care for the ill and injured.

Dr. Grundy: Over these past 20 years, it has been fun to help create and be a part of Telluride Regional Medical Center. We get to be there for our community and it as an honor to do so. If we got a free ski pass, then my answer might change! 

Dr. Mahoney: The people who are the Medical Center.  It’s the most passionate, dedicated and fun group of people I’ve worked with.

What has been your most unique experience as a doctor?

Dr. Grundy: Working in Telluride is so special – and one that not many people get anymore as more small, regional medical centers go under. We are remote and have limited staff and options, which comes with several challenges, but challenges that allow me to take on more diversified roles. I am the cardiologist. I am the neurologist. I am the dermatologist and sometimes even the psychiatrist. The most unique thing during these past two years has been leading the response to the pandemic. I never thought this would be part of my career, but it was.

Dr. Koelliker: I’m an emergency physician so there are so many unique things I’ve seen, but I would say that every time I have helped to deliver a baby is the most unique and gratifying experience!

Dr. Hall: Being able to give back as an EMS medical director and teaching and mentoring EMS professionals.

What attracted you to Telluride or what has kept you in Telluride?

Dr. Koelliker: My husband and I came to Telluride from Farmington, New Mexico. We wanted to meet Dr. Peter Hackett, as he is/was the guru of high-altitude medicine, and we came to meet him once while visiting. In 2003, we began working in Telluride part-time and then transitioned to full-time in 2006.  We love living and working in Telluride!

Dr. Hall: I grew up in Lake City and started coming to the Bluegrass Festival in 1980. I’ve been around the San Juans all my life.

Dr. Grundy: I moved here before medical school and bonded with a beautiful group of friends. Eight years later, I came back as a physician to enjoy the mountains and all the fun this town brings.

Dr. Kent Gaylord: I came to Telluride in 1996 for the people. I loved their energy, spirit, dedication to each other and dedication to their patients at the Medical Center.

What makes the Telluride community so special?

Dr. Gaylord: When in need, the community really looks after each other. I feel this every day while at work or interacting with people in our small mountain town. This sense of community has kept me in the area for over 25 years and continues to this day.

Dr. Mahoney: This community shows up to support one another when it counts. It’s a community that supports diversity, inclusion, creativity and growth.

Dr. Koelliker: This community is so special because it is made up of unique and amazing individuals that all share a common love for this incredible box canyon.

Dr. Grundy: The people. We are like a big family, and we experience all the emotions that you can have in a family, but in the end, some common threads bond us in our remote mountain town. I have witnessed more times than I can count an outpouring of love and support when a person or family goes through difficult times – something that doesn’t happen a lot of places.

What is your top piece of advice for anyone looking to get into the medical field?

Dr. Koelliker: If you want to get into the medical field, it requires a love of learning that doesn’t end when school ends. It is a continual process that is always evolving. Becoming a doctor takes perseverance and long hours of study and practice.

Dr. Grundy: Stay curious. The practice of medicine is what you want it to be, and at any time, you can change course and learn a whole new way to practice.

Dr. Hall: Get experience in medicine somewhere first – volunteer, become an EMT, etc. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you fully commit! This profession isn’t for everyone.

Dr. Mahoney: Follow your heart, trust your gut.

What keeps you engaged in medicine?

Dr. Koelliker: The community I serve keeps me engaged in medicine.

Dr. Mahoney: There is always something new to learn and explore, and always ways to do better. Medicine is forever humbling.

Dr. Hall: Constant learning and teaching others.

Thank you to all of the incredible doctors on our team! 

Dr. Kent Gaylord | Dr. Sharon Grundy | Dr. Bill Hall | Dr. Dan Hehir | Dr. Diana Koelliker | Dr. Paul Koellliker | Dr. Christine Mahoney | Dr. Anna Turner