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A Prescription for Iron County

Laura Burt DPM’12 works to fulfill vital services to rural communities while enjoying the beauty of Wisconsin’s North Woods.

August 04, 2016
Laura Burt DPM’12

At the very top of the state, in Hurley, Wisconsin there is an independent pharmacy on Silver Street called the White Cross Pharmacy. All the pharmacists there are Badgers.

Of the three, Laura Burt DPM’12 is the most recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and her bio on the pharmacy’s website says she “enjoys hunting, fishing, and bartending at the Sunken Horse Saloon.”

“Word spreads pretty fast when there’s a new face in town,” she says. “People want to know who you are.”

And in her roles, she has gotten to know her fellow Iron County residents well. By the time they are at the pharmacy, she says, patients often have questions that didn’t come to mind in the exam room.

“I have a lot of opportunities to have real conversations with people,” she says. “I feel like we’ve discussed everything under the sun.”

The cabins along the Turtle Flambeau Flowage are at the heart of some of the state’s best fishing waters and snowmobile trails. There is not a stoplight in the entire county.

When I was in school at UW- Madison, I never knew I would end up in the North Woods … and I get to call it home.

“It’s a different world,’ she says. “When I’m in the car for a half hour, it means I drove about 30 miles.”

By contrast, most of Burt’s friends from pharmacy school have started their careers in cities and metropolitan areas. Burt grew up in Marshfield, one of the Marshfield Clinic’s locations, and her father attended UW–Madison. Her sister is a UW Law School graduate.

“When I was in school at UW-Madison, I never knew I would end up in the North Woods,” she says. “This is where everyone comes to vacation, and I get to call it home.”

To the pharmacy students deciding their futures, Burt offers her story. She wants them to see that not only is northern Wisconsin beautiful, but pharmacists are in demand, and there is a special element of freedom here.

“I tell them, don’t rule anything out,” she says. “I found an independent pharmacy, and a town that’s really good. I’m really liking everything here.”

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