I am a board certified/board eligible Family Practice physician.

I am female.

I am divorced.

I have two children, born in 1992 and 1997.

I love nonsense poetry.

I am a jitterbug and six count swing dancer. Also some tango, salsa, clogging, cajun, I remember one tap step and anything else I can pick up.

I have what used to be a brown belt in Tae Kwan Do but apparently they have turned red.

I am a Christian buddhist lapsed atheist Unitarian. Because I am Unitarian, I can also be a Flying Spagettian at the same time.  My Unitarian Jihad name is Mother Superior Cat-o-nine-tail’s of Harmony. It doesn’t really make sense to me either, but I keep searching for Rumi’s Beloved.

I am a generalist and am interested in everything.

I write poems, prose and fiction, but since I was tiny, I assumed that everyone wanted to be a writer and especially poetry. I’ve been assured that I am wrong, but I don’t really believe it.

Like my mother, I believe that everyone is an artist.

Like my father, I believe that everyone is a musician.

I was raised with folk songs and masses, and have the words memorized to between 300 and 500 songs. If I ever get dementia, the other residents will beg to have me drugged or will smother me with a pillow, because I will sing all the time.

Because I memorized songs as soon as I could talk, I have a weird and well developed memory. Oral tradition. My sister and I would photocopy album covers and memorize all the words when we were on long car trips. I think I still know nearly all the words to the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine album.

My sister died of cancer, my mother died of cancer, my father died of emphysema. I have two children and a niece. My father had 35 cousins and I am still finding relatives. My mother’s family has two Congregationalist ministers as my great grandfathers, one of whom was one of the (not really very) famous Iowa seven. That set of grandparents were then atheists, especially the grandmother that I am named after. My ex said once that if we went to Antarctica, I’d be related to the penguins. I think this is true.

Apparently Unitarians are not supposed to believe in the Devil. I think that we are the devils and the angels too and can be both at once. So in the end, everything is one.



72 thoughts on “About

  1. TamrahJo says:

    Greatly enjoying reading through your blog archives this morning! Thanks so much for the comment, on my comment, on the RDP blog (which I also JUST started following, reading) so I could follow the breadcrumb trail back to your blog! It is so refreshing AND nice to be reading through your fraud in medicine category – I’m not a provider, though I’ve worked in support roles in various health care systems in my lifetime, thus far, and I too, have long held overall concerns regarding healthcare systems, regulations across many spectrums…..
    However, it’s been a long time since I’ve had an MD, or PA who speaks openly as to their experience within the system – thank you for the insight into this issue that affects us ALL, from your perspective/expertise!

    • drkottaway says:

      Many thanks!

    • drkottaway says:

      Many thanks! And I see that you are a skeptic too, welcome!

      • TamrahJo says:

        Ahh…welll… um…. I’ve been on the edge/recipient of/fought against the ‘inner hive’ of the system, many a times – I pay the consequences in my own life of being a ‘skeptic’ (thank you so much for the generosity and kindness in the ‘word label’ you used! It’s not often applied to me – – cynical, pessimistic, harsh, blunt, rude, etc., are more often the words used – this, to my mind, is the overarching result of the rise and destruction regarding the superficial, ‘happy-wappy’ positive thinking movement sham – I never fully understood it, until one known to me since childhood, crossed swords (if you will) in social media land, when I innocently (I thought) shared my own experience with what I believe is the underlying Anti-health to true health silver bullet being spoon fed to many) when, privately, not publicly, I was informed to the “I have to only focus on the positive – otherwise my anxiety overwhelms me” – at which point, in my world? “Ahhh…Okay! I understand now!!! they and those who hated my share/said I was a sad person indeed and ‘the problem’ all made better sense – in my world? they are no longer the enemy/part of the problem, they are the ones I have to find a way to, at the very least, try to address and do my part in various systems, to at least, give them an option to address their own anxiety, etc. meh – not my job, really, not my expertise, and yet, to me? So many of our ‘in place’ centralized systems, on so many fronts, cause, at a very core level, a deep anxiety in many – and I always want to know, “how can I, as a consumer within this system, make choices that might change the system?”

        Sorry, again long – but hopefully, expresses my true intentions and why I ask of you, such things, and why I (sorry!) flooded your notifications feed with likes/comments to moderate, etc. I just want to know more, that will educate me on how to make better choices in me own life! And to share the options with others!

        • drkottaway says:

          Well, I’ve been writing about ACE scores for a while: the people who have been through really rough times may well view the world with more suspicion and skepticism and actually the world needs us. Realistic and pragmatic. My daughter went to a Rotary Youth Leadership program. I asked how it was. “Mom, it was so focused on the positive that they actively discouraged critical thinking. So I shut up.” I laughed. “And did you get to do an evaluation?” She grinned. “Yes, and it was the opposite of positive.” Right. Critical thinking and discussion and thought and listening to different ideas are vitally important in this world.

          • TamrahJo says:

            Yes – I was raised by a self-labeled pragmatist/realist, when he was accused by many others in my ‘childhood’ sphere, of being ‘cynical/pessimistic’ and I’ve had my share of what I assume are, factors of the ACE scoring or Adult Trauma factors – – all I know is this – I never knew folks who drank alchoholic beverages could be so hateful and violent until I was old enough to work in bars and trusted enough to hear the childhood stories of those in friends/co-worker circles – I never knew that questioning leaders, and being respectful to those in positions of authority, even when I questioned their personal character/integrity, was a ‘bad thing’, I never knew that many do not know the difference between ‘respecting the individual/respecting the position held’ and working to ‘remove from said position, via words and non-violent measures, were NOT the status quo – I never knew that ‘the first thing to solve a problem is to admit there is one” was seen as a negative – and I never knew how many adults mess up, or sometimes say something at the very worst moment, or in a way that can’t be heard, and then refuse to apologize, for their ‘oops, that wasn’t my best moment…or, sorry, not my intent to….” and how many adults view apologizing as a sign of ‘weakness’ or admission of guilt…

            Nope, I never learned those things, until I went out into the world – thus, to many? I’m ‘soft/had a protected childhood/are ignorant in the ways of the world, and too stubborn to not just accept, “that’s just the way it is” when I look at human made constructs/systems and cry Foul! :D

            I haven’t taken the ACE test, to my knowledge, though I’ve sought support from employee assistance counselors, marriage counselors and such when ever I realized, I needed help cuz I was just chasing my monkey mind around like a dog chasing it’s tail.


            KUDOS to you, your daughter! And the future generations you both inspire/impact – I agree – the human world needs so many perspectives, if it is to manage to keep ‘trucking along’ and not destroying itself – :D

          • TamrahJo says:

            The violence I witnessed/was subject to in childhood was external, but financial adversity did play a huge role in my world view going forward in ‘adulting’ it life – I do not believe in the American Dream (Myth?) that if you are willing to work hard, in needed, but viewed as menial labor/minimum wage jobs, that you can work hard and build a life – and maintain it – I never did – 😀 That’s my main ACE test result, I gather, from my quick scan of the highlights – thanks for the link…I will read/learn more!

          • drkottaway says:

            Witnessing violence is certainly one of the scores. A successful American Dream story seems to involve a lot of luck and we are not all lucky.

          • TamrahJo says:

            Lucky or not, ‘balanced and happy’ or not – I guess, overall, I do not forget, no matter how well, or ill, things are going for me, how many like me are affected by policies and ‘biz/social norms as usual’ traditions – AND I can’t abide folks who say, “Well, it’s OKAY for you, you’re rare, you don’t cheat the system” when, I know for a fact, I’m not rare, nor do I believe myself to be, but, alas, that’s what I hear as ‘justification’ for those who work hard to defund SNAP, disability, WIC, and Medicaid, even when, on some fronts? (one only, by law, or face $3k fine for NOT having insurance/couldn’t buy, even if I had the money to…) I was, for a couple of years on Medicaid, while so many in my circle lumped me into ‘lazy, druggie, addict’ status, because I was – And I shot back how frustrated I was that the local clinic, they were on the ‘governing board’ of, required 3-4 visits from me, in order to do a damn annual appointment/annual blood tests, and they could get to ‘know me/my history/have it onfile’ when my doctor decided to go the private, service for those who can pay the big bucks through $ spent for tokens, no longer was viable option for me – which, to me, in the end is, “I’m not rare, exceptional or the problem” to be addressed, on many fronts, in health care – my community, my friends and family – but damned if that isn’t how I’m labeled, often – sigh – none of it is true if many folks, start from the ‘reality’ they know – and enjoy – and how they view ‘others’ that aren’t of their social/resources available to them’ status – meh – this, here, in my laymen’s way, is where I fight one front, of the battle you speak of – :D

          • drkottaway says:

            I think this is a bit too personal for me to keep approving it as messages. The email link is on my blog, if you want to send something. Thank you.

          • drkottaway says:

            Though I agree that many of us spend too much time othering people and distinguishing “us from them”. One friend says, “Are we talking about US or THEM?” which makes me laugh.

  2. We have nice penguins down here…..

    There is a great lack of nonsense poetry written on WP. I make an effort to try and help fill the gap…..

  3. dennyho says:

    Intrigued and will read more.

  4. gizzylaw says:

    I had no idea you were me. Or close thereto. Glad this popped up today.

  5. Momma B says:

    Stumbled upon this blog looking for local resources, and holy wow, what a great find. Rock on, mom. <3

  6. Ennle Madresan says:

    Totally fascinating–blessings to you!

  7. This goes down in one smooth gulp. Many happy babies and glimpses! :)

  8. margaret21 says:

    I love what I read here. I think I’d better follow your blog and come to know you better!

  9. hilarymb says:

    Hi Dr K … interesting bio – and good to read about you – I came via Karen Allendoerfer … but fun read as an intro … cheers Hilary

  10. […] photos from people’s everyday lives around the world, he handed it off to Dr K Ottoway, a rural physician in the eastern United States. (Reading that paragraph makes me smile. How else […]

  11. I rarely read the “about” page on blogs, but something about your gorgeous photography made me wonder more about you. You left a commented on my blog (the photos of beets for lunch in McMinnville, OR) a couple of days ago and now I’m going to start following your lovely blog. Nice to meet you in the blogosphere!

  12. Suze says:

    One can NEVER sing too much! I volunteer at a small rural clinic so I see our patients in yours………..small world. Glad I wandered into your site this morning. I have an erudite writer to follow now.

  13. How could I not find out more from your “Brave” post and your Mad as Hell blog. Cool stuff!

  14. handmadejewelryhaven says:

    Love your thoughts on Angels and Devils. I too share this thinking.
    – Lisa

  15. Joanne Sisco says:

    You earned a real laugh-out-loud with the line “I am a Christian buddhist lapsed atheist Unitarian”. I think the world might be a better place if there were more of you :)

  16. Hey, there! I love your introduction.

  17. You don’t like prejudice. Nor do I. You might like to type “prejudice” into the search field on the home page of my blog and follow the links.

    • drkottaway says:

      Discrimination….. now I am thinking about how that is different from prejudice. Discrimination is acting on the prejudice.

  18. grumpygorman says:

    I really enjoy your writing. I am glad you chose to share it with the WordPress universe..

  19. Hendrik Duvenhage says:

    Congratulations on your post, I must admit I have popped in a read a good number of your postings I just want to tell you how good you are at describing the stuff your at – I must admit I find it insightful to read your blogging. Keep up the good work.Hendrik Duvenhage http://www.hendrikduvenhageblog.wordpress.com

  20. […] Courtesy of KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog Photo and quoted text courtesy of Historical […]

  21. In the end, everything is one. Dear Rural Doctor, thank you for visiting my blog. I am glad you enjoyed my non-love poem, If only you hadn’t departed. I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

  22. clanton1934 says:

    Hello Rural Doctor,
    I am a retured physician. Bless your heart for doing primary care in a rural setting. I did just enough of that to know what a challenge it is an how essential it is.
    Extra credit for writing a blog. Additional exrta credit for acknowledging the contributions of your parents. Will follow

  23. Thoroughly enjoyed your ABOUT page. I’d been following you but I don’t always get to all the pages of those I follow. However, I saw that you were living in an ideal (small town) world, and wondered possibly where… I found, even more interesting, that we travel in similar Earth Walks. I’m still smiling from your merry way with words!

  24. I have nominated you for the “Love in Ten Sentences Challenge”. Share the love! https://janebasilblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/love-in-ten-sentences-2-2/

  25. Hello! You are an interesting woman––that I must say. I like you. Thank you for visiting and following my blog. I hope you’ll return and stay a while. Maybe read one of my short stories? Anyway, you have a fascinating blog so I’m also following you. I look forward to reading your posts. :D

  26. Ronovan says:

    You mentioned nonsense poetry. I thought you might like to look at this one. Nonsense and Such: The Animal Minded or None-A Poem? http://wp.me/p4y9jb-gJ

  27. Lotta Wanner says:

    I really like to be your friend.

  28. menomama3 says:

    I think that may be the most engaging “About” page I’ve ever read. You have a new follower! Hi! – Susanne

  29. Hi,
    I’m Tokoni. I wanted to find out if you’d like to participate in friendly Fridays on my blog.

  30. wow! Great to see that you find time to blog as well midst the hectic schedule. Great about page. :-)
    Nice to see a bundle of talents. Congratulations.. Am happy i landed here. :-)

  31. somemaid says:

    Great introduction, I love folk music too. If you tell me the name of a tune I will swear blind I don’t know what it is, before hearing it and being able to play and sing it. Off to google the Iowa 7 now.

  32. susurrus says:

    Great introduction – made me smile and made me laugh out loud at the idea of you singing too much.

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