Conversation with Dr. Brian DiMarzio is comfortable. Something about his down-to-earth, relatable personality is disarming, giving you the sense you’re in the company of an old friend. It’s possible that his vast and diverse training and life experience has a hand in forming him into the easy-going provider he is today.
Born outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Brian moved with his military family to Kentucky when he was a child, and then to South Bend, Indiana for middle school and high school. Brian’s grandfather and father were pathologists, and he always wanted to be a doctor, but “didn’t want to just look under a microscope.” With the goal of caring for people in mind, Brian attended undergrad at Colorado State University.
He and his wife met on the slopes of Vail, Colorado where Brian hung out for about two years before launching into medical school at American University School of the Caribbean (AUC) in St. Maarten, Caribbean. For two years, the couple enjoyed their stay and got into sailing. They moved back to the states for two years of rotations in New York City and Baltimore which Brian describes as “a super-fast paced epicenter of medicine.” After which, he completed his family practice residency at University of Nevada in Reno and found the pace of life much slower. By that point, his wife was homesick for her family, and the DiMarzios moved back to Colorado where Brian has been practicing medicine ever since. He feels that experiencing life and medical practice from multiple angles—both urban and rural—has made him a more well-rounded person and provider.
Though Dr. DiMarzio has been in the Grand Valley medical field for 12 years, he just recently left urgent care and Docs on Call to begin building his own family medicine practice with Patterson Primary Care clinic, in their beautiful, new facility that has grown to include 12 providers. Dr. DiMarzio feels the clinic is a good fit for him and says, “Everyone there is friendly and easy to get along with.” He appreciates being able to slow down and spend evenings and weekends with his family—a luxury not often attained during his years working in urgent care.
Dr. DiMarzio enjoys the challenge of problem-solving that comes with acute medical cases. “It’s like you’re a mechanic; sometimes you have to chip away and try one thing at a time until you get to what the real issue is.” Over a decade of experience has helped Dr. DiMarzio develop the skill of fine-tuned observation. “You get good at going with your gut instinct; it’s kind of an intuition.” The biggest reward for him is the day-to-day joy of helping people and knowing he’s preventing emergency situations from developing. “When, for example, someone thinks their chest pain is trivial, you do an EKG and it’s not trivial, and are able to get them the appropriate care they need—you end up saving a life.”
Describing the difference between urgent care and family medicine, DiMarzio explains, “With family medicine it’s about doing the screening, offering recommendations, and just keeping up-to-date on the normal stuff so you don’t get surprised.” Dr. DiMarzio appreciates the more preventive nature of family medicine, “Most of the time everybody is stable. It’s harder to find things before they’re obvious when they’re subtle. That’s kind of the trick of it—trying to catch things while they’re treatable.” In the age of information, DiMarzio occasionally sees patients who’ve done their own research. “Sometimes they diagnose themselves, because they have been figuring it out for so long. But [as a provider] you still take everything in context. There are new medications, new research coming out, and you’ve got to look at what all their tests are showing.” Dr. DiMarzio credits his open-minded medical approach to his wide array of training. “I’ve seen a lot of ways providers practice medicine. I think it’s important to be relaxed, down-to-earth and to really try to hear what people want, because they don’t always want to do everything the guidelines tell them, and so long as they know what those guidelines are, they can make their own decisions.”
Above all other aspects of his work, Dr. DiMarzio enjoys getting to know people and the relational aspect of the job. “It’s nice to meet people from all walks of life. You’ll have someone come in who’s a millionaire, and then someone who’s off the street; everybody’s got a story.” While some medical providers seek out cross-country moves in order to build their careers, Dr. DiMarzio has seen enough of the changing landscape. He plans to stay in the Grand Valley for as long as possible. “A lot of times, you see doctors come and go, and it’s hard to find a family doctor who stays anymore. I’d like to just settle in, push through and stay in one stable family medicine practice until I retire.”
The DiMarzio family enjoys many outdoor activities the area has to offer, including hiking with their two dogs—a lab-mix and a pointer-mix. The dogs, Brian jokes, “make us go hiking.” DiMarzio also enjoys snowboarding, wake boarding and mountain biking. He and his wife love cheering on their thirteen-year-old daughter who is on the Powderhorn ski racing team.
Brian DiMarzio, MD is accepting new patients at Patterson Primary Care. To set up an appointment, call 970.298.6601 or visit https://www.sclhealth.org/locations/medical-group-patterson/