If you want a little insight into Maribeth Baker, MD, just ask why she lives close to Sauk Prairie Healthcare.
"I can be out of bed and at the hospital in three contractions," she says.
This family medicine physician from Prairie Clinic in Sauk City provides obstetric care for a reason-she loves it. "I'm quite honored to be a part of this special time in my patients' lives. It's a true privilege that brings me great joy. I can't imagine not doing this," she says.
Prairie Clinic is an independent, primary care clinic, and Baker, as partner and owner, has a role in the decision-making process for all health care issues. She is also involved in medical staff governance of the non-profit, community hospital, where 300 deliveries take place each year. The hospital provides a wide range of medical services.
She went to medical school on a whim. "I knew after the first day that I was in the right place," she says. Lucky for the community.
When you deliver babies, it's a 24/7 job. After all, nature has its own schedule. Baker credits others for her success. "From the moment I decided to be a doctor, my husband, Bill, has been very supportive. So have my children, friends and neighbors; I couldn't do this work alone."
Don't think for a minute that a full schedule makes her an absentee mom. Her family is a priority; the children, Ben, Hannah, and Ruth, know it. "It's not unusual for me to work on costumes during meetings," says Baker. She takes care of paperwork and dictates notes at 4:30 a.m., when her workday starts. It allows her to spend more time in the children's activities.
Patients know that Baker practices what she preaches. That includes a balanced life. As a committed Christian, she knows the positive impact that spirituality has on health. Patients are encouraged to develop their own beliefs. She equally promotes fitness, good mental health, and nutrition. You might see her running past your house as she trains for marathons.
With a reputation for treating patients as equals, Baker, a bright, down-to-earth doctor with a great sense of humor, has little ego. She's the first to admit her imperfections:
"Don't tell anyone," she says in a humorous, hushed tone, "but if you see me in the grocery store, you might catch me putting a bag or two of Doritos in the cart."