Physician, teacher, researcher, gardener, part-time farmer and runner, Therese Zink tries to do it all. Writing is relegated to the early morning hours and weekends. She writes “to stay sane” and to process the privilege of knowing so much about other people’s lives. She helps medical students write up their experiences as student doctors. Zink’s stories have been published in lay magazines, literary and medical journals, and several anthologies. She has edited two collections and compiled a book of stories.
There is a growing interest in reflection in medical training and other professions. Why? Reflection is believed to help prevent burnout and increase job satisfaction. It can enable us to become better doctors, better human beings.
Zink has been a Midwest girl most of her life. Born in southern Ohio, she went to college in Milwaukee Wisconsin, medical school in Columbus Ohio and completed her family medicine residency training in St. Paul Minnesota. During vacations, in between jobs and during leaves of absence, she has doctored on the Navajo reservation, Latin America and the former Soviet Union. Currently, she is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota.
In 2011 she was named a Rural Health Hero by the Minnesota Rural Health Association. In 2012, the National Rural Health Association awarded her the Distinguished Educator Award. She has served on the Minnesota Governor’s Health Reform Task Force from 2011-12 and was named among 100 influential health care leaders in Minnesota by the Minnesota Physician in 2012.
University of Minnesota Alumni Magazine, Fall 2012
A full moon floods the southeastern Minnesota landscape in a pale, wintry light as Dr. Therese Zink pulls away from her small farm and bounces down the gravel road past fields of broken cornstalks. She turns onto Highway 52 and then down a dark, empty road that crosses the middle fork of the Zumbro River before emptying onto Pine Island’s main street. Zink parks her Prius in front of the butcher shop, slantwise, the way it’s done in small towns, and heads for the Rainbow Cafe. READ MORE