The newest physician at the Memorial Hospital has never had a patient he didn't like. He's never had a neighbor he didn't get along with, for that matter.
Dr. Michael Crane, a licensed obstetrician and gynecologist who started his practice in Craig late last summer, believes people should be judged not by superficial displays of wealth but by how well they treat others.
"I'm sensitive when people think of physicians are those people who drive Porsches and eat fancy food," he said.
"We're just like everyone else."
Crane is Craig's first physician to offer gynecological surgeries. His specialty includes performing bladder operations, surgeries to remove cysts and cancers, hysterectomies and aid to in infertility treatments.
Crane said hopes that with his recent installment, potential clients will keep from searching elsewhere for quality service they can get here.
"There's a number of people going out of town for gynecological care," he said. "I couldn't be more behind the team concept, but I want to persuade the public that with excellent care most of those things can be done locally."
Crane and his wife, Becki, have seven children between the ages of 16 and 27, the two youngest who attend Moffat County High School.
The couple has four grandchildren but are expecting two more.
Crane commented on his personal experience with the frailty of surgery after one of his daughters had complications from a recent appendectomy.
"As far as that goes, I'm aware that surgery has risks and sometimes things don't go as well as planned," he reflected. "I'm just like everybody else in Craig, I don't want there to be complications. People need to be understanding and forgiving and know that's a part of life."
Yet in 24 years of experience, Crane said he's never recommended a surgery that wasn't necessary. But where he does see a need is in more local gynecological services.
"There's no question in my mind that a community of this size needs a gynecology specialist," Crane said. "My first duty is to be available for gynecological services but truth be known, I love obstetrics."
Crane estimates he's delivered 5,000 babies to date in his career. And he doesn't rule out the possibility of jumping into that role again.
According to TMH Community Relations Director Pam Thompson, hospital officials felt Crane's qualifications and easy-going personality would be a good match with residents.
"He makes you feel at ease," Thompson said. "He's incredibly personable and has good patient rapport. He's bringing a specialty that's wasn't in our community."
Crane and his family are currently staying at a local motel while they await the completion of construction on their new house. The move from Logan, Utah, earlier this year, which the family has been planning since last winter was supposed to be easy, still the family is making the best of it.
"This summer we rented a log cabin and we pretended we were like Little House on the Prairie."
"We can either have fun or complain about things," he said. "I have been accused of being too positive."
Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com.