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Hometown Advantage: Fourth generation SD physician knew early that he’d “come back home”

Dec 28, 2016 09:30AM ● By MED Magazine
Like many physicians, orthopedic sports medicine specialist Peter Looby, MD, the son, grandson, and great-grandson of South Dakota doctors, travelled far from home for his training.

After medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, he did his residency at the University of New Mexico and completed an orthopedic sports medicine fellowship at Massachusetts General. But Looby says he knew even as an undergrad at Stanford, that he’d eventually return to his home state.

“When I was a junior, I had to drive from Palo Alto to San Francisco on Interstate 480. I remember that I was standing outside my vehicle, in four lanes of traffic, and as far as I could see in each direction, traffic was completely still. I thought, ‘When this is all done, I’m going back home!’” he recalls.

Although that return was still 12 years away at the time, Dr. Looby says he was delighted, both personally and professionally, when he was finally able to join Orthopedic Institute in Sioux Falls.

“You can practice as good a medicine in South Dakota as you can practice anywhere in the country,” says Looby. “We have great facilities, a strong core of physicians, and all specialties represented here. As a result, we are able to recruit and attract tremendously good practitioners. I work with a group at OI that is as good as any group I’ve ever seen.”

He’s also found no shortage of opportunities and challenges in his field with multiple sports teams and an aging population.

“We take care of a larger number of orthopedic conditions here because we are the primary medical center for the region,” observes Dr. Looby. “Difficult trauma cases, difficult spine cases, and difficult knee reconstructions all tend to come to Sioux Falls, which is unusual for a city our size.”