There’s that connection thing again. It started as a kid when she had to figure out how to connect with her cousin Jennifer, and now Erin was putting those skills to practical use to help others as well. While she enjoys treating everyone, that “connection” aspect of her personality lured her into focusing more specifically on adolescent and women’s health. Women because she enjoys being able to talk openly about women’s problems in an honest environment, and adolescents because she feels like she can make a special connection with kids into teenagers.
“One of my spiels (to adolescents) always is it’s not my job to parent you, that’s your parents’ job,” she says. “My job is to be your doctor and to make sure you’re healthy and that you get accurate health information. That’s my spiel to my teenagers all the time because I feel like if there’s an honest, comfortable situation in a room where they don’t feel judged, where they don’t feel like what they have to say is going to be broadcast to others, they’ll open up to me. And I feel like then it makes for a healthier child.”
But one thing that caught Erin off guard initially was the unique aspect of practicing medicine in a small community like Summit County where her neighbors are her patients. Where, if she goes to the grocery store, post office, gas station, pretty much anywhere in “town,” she’s going to know the person standing next to her. And a lot of times those people are her patients. According to Beckerman, in a situation like this it becomes super important for her to have ownership of how she treats her patients the second she walks out the door.
“I can’t get lost in a big city where I see a patient and then I don’t see them for a year until their next annual wellness visit or whatever,” says Beckerman. “So, I own my decisions and I feel like I’m very accountable for the decisions of how I care for patients because they’re not just a number, they’re my neighbors, they’re my community members, they’re my friends, and they’re my acquaintances.”
“There was definitely a transition when I moved up here,” she continues. “It totally caught me off guard where I couldn’t go to the grocery store without medical questions being asked or just being recognized. But I quickly got over that and now I actually enjoy it. I like being able to see my patients in the community, and it’s nice, it’s part of small-town medicine. Even though the county is growing, those parts of being able to see your patients out in the community makes it feel like a continued small town.”