Friday, December 22, 2017

After nearly 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Julie Gerndt will retire at the end of December. She received her medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine and is board certified in Psychitary and Neurology.

Though she originally had plans to go into the neurology field, it was during her rotations in psychiatry that she switched focus.

“The patients that I enjoyed the most were psychiatry patients,” Dr. Gerndt said. “I thought it was amazing that we could treat someone with an anti-psychotic medication and help them get their life back. I thought it was such a great gift.” 

When it came time to choosing a practice, Dr. Gerndt and her husband, Dr. Doug Otopalik, DDS, whom she met in medical school, both wanted to live in a medium-sized community, similar to where she grew up in Manitowoc, Wisc. She began her psychiatry practice with the Psychiatric Clinic of Mankato, which later joined the Mankato Clinic in 2002.

In 2003, Dr. Gerndt began a leadership role after being elected as Board Chair of the Mankato Clinic. 

Her accolades, among many, include serving as both the first female Mankato Clinic Board Chair and Chief Medical Officer, a role she has held for the past seven years. 

Immediately following her retirement, Dr. Gerndt and her husband have plans to travel. When they return, Dr. Gerndt will use the time to regroup and find out what her next mission in life is.

“When I was a little kid, I would sit on the beach where our house is and I thought, ‘what will become of me?’” Dr. Gerndt said. “I wanted to do something important that meant something to other people. I’m most grateful that they gave me the chance to do that. My coworkers and my patients gave my life meaning.”