Dr. Miranda Edwards, MD
Patterson Primary Care
Reared by two pediatrician parents in the mountainous town of Lander, Wyoming, young Miranda adamantly swore she would never pursue a medical career! Fast forward to 2021. Dr. Miranda Edwards is one of the Grand Valley’s highly qualified physicians about to earn her second board certification, giving her specializations in pediatrics as well as internal medicine.
What brought about the change of heart? When Miranda was fourteen, her family adopted two children, ages six and seven, from India. At the recommendation of the adoption agency, her whole family traveled there to see the culture firsthand. In India, Miranda saw many children who had been abandoned because of congenital malformations and other unmet health conditions. “They were seen as less than human,” she recalls. “That’s when I clearly felt a call on my heart to do medicine, particularly pediatrics.”
It wasn’t until later in life that Miranda fell in love with geriatrics and the older population. She and some friends volunteered weekly at a nursing home next door to their college. It was rewarding to build relationships with the residents as well as their families and to form a type of informal support and care. When it came time later to choose a medical specialization, the combo of pediatrics and internal medicine made sense.
Commonly referred to as “med peds” the training required to specialize in internal medicine and pediatrics is fairly uncommon, especially in Western Colorado. Internal Medicine-Pediatrics is an extended training program which allows added time in residency to specialize in the care of adults as well as children. When she becomes “double-boarded” in August, Dr. Edwards will be required to keep up with the ongoing quarterly educational requirements for both internist as well as pediatrician. It’s a tall order!
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Miranda gave birth to her first child while still completing her residency. She credits her supportive husband, who took on a bulk of the parenting responsibilities in those early months, for helping her along the path to success. Today the couple parent their five and three-year-old daughters while juggling complementary careers in medicine and counseling.
Dr. Miranda is thankful to be married to a mental health expert and is passionate about giving care to the whole person. She notes that addressing mental health requires asking good questions, especially in adolescence where there is a common assumption that “feeling depressed is just a normal thing.” Dr. Edwards desires to break down this false impression and address underlying mental health issues often undetected in teenagers.
Mental health concerns have emerged more strongly than ever over the past year, as we have collectively experienced social isolation through the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are made to be with people,” Dr. Edwards shares, “so this separation, especially with the teens, has been hard.” She notes the effects of the pandemic on adults’ stress eating and depression screens, as well as the effects on children such as “some exaggerated stranger danger.” Dr. Edwards has been fascinated by the social resilience she’s seeing in babies, but adds “I’m seeing it now in one and two-year-old [children] … just the effects of not being with people.”
As one of Patterson Primary Care’s nearly dozen providers, Dr. Edwards not only brings to the table a passion for strong mental health, but also for continuity of care from birth to old age, which includes preventative screening for those in their 20’s and 30’s. She enjoys the variety of seeing a newborn and a 90-year old patient on the same day, and her greatest satisfaction comes from building trusting relationships with people of all ages and stages. She is thankful to be able to maintain a 50/50 balance between child and adult care.
Dr. Edwards is grateful for Monument Health’s commitment to providing access to general practitioners.
“I really feel like continuity of care, where you have the same provider for sick visits and for wellness visits is super important. When you have that…you can ask those deeper questions like, ‘how are you really doing?’”
Dr. Edwards sees the role of the primary care provider as truly essential to strong overall health for an individual as well as for the community. “Sometimes we rely too much on specialist referrals and lose the big picture. You may have a cardiologist, a lung doctor and a liver doctor. But I’m the one that sees all those reports come in…that hub, that place where all the information filters through.”
After 3.5 ten-hour days per week, Dr. Miranda comes home fulfilled. “We are definitely family people,” she beams, as she describes her enthusiasm for camping and paddle boarding with her husband and girls. She personally enjoys raising a garden and cooking, and has recently been teaching her five-year-old to bake. The Edwards’ family loves the adventure of trying new international foods and has begun a new endeavor of raising golden retriever puppies.
When the kids are grown, Dr. Miranda dreams of doing short-term international missions work, but for now her heart is content to be right where she’s at. “God put that drive in me to do medicine,” she shares. Her passion inside is clearly flowing outward with great impact.
Patterson Primary Care is accepting new patients. To learn more and connect with a primary care provider, call their office directly at 970.298.6601.