Every family is unique, and I aim to make medicine work for all. I listen to my patients, then tailor my advice to each family’s specific needs and philosophies. I believe in open dialogues, shared decision-making and preventative medicine. My goal is to help parents raise strong, independent children, who sleep through the night.
Dr. Buerk always knew she wanted to work with kids, and was considering a career in teaching or medicine. She decided on medicine after her freshman year of high school, when she had an amazing biology teacher who got her interested in science. She completed her undergraduate education at Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Dr. Buerk then earned her medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, before moving to the west coast to complete her pediatric residency at Oregon Health and Sciences University. Dr. Buerk is board-certified and practices in our Portland office.
As a young child, Dr. Buerk traveled with her father to West Africa where he provided free dental services to those who couldn’t afford care. She saw how powerful it could be to give to others in this way. Ever since, Dr. Buerk has cared for underserved patients in Haiti (6 times), Bolivia, Kenya, and Mexico. Many of these trips have been made even more special when she has been able to share the experience with one of her children.
Outside the office, Dr. Buerk can often be spotted running the Springwater trail while training for races. She started running during high school and hasn’t stopped. She has completed a marathon, 6 half marathons, countless 5 and 10ks, and has captained the PANW Hood to Coast team for many years.
Combined with her passion for running is her enthusiasm for nutrition. From researching nutrition, to experimenting with plant-based recipes, she aims to make healthy eating a central part of her life. She has great tips on how to add vegetables into your child’s meals (hello mint chocolate smoothie with spinach!) and she will always agree with any article stating the benefits of dark chocolate.
As a working parent, Dr. Buerk is empathetic to the challenges faced by other working parents. After practicing for over 20 years and parenting four children through their toddler and teen years, nothing surprises her. She loves to listen and help families work through the good, the bad, and the funny of all childhood stages.