Mother and daughter physicians inspire each other every day

By: Lauren Peters Erling .

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Brenda Miller, M.D., has been in the medical profession for 36 years. Her love and passion of her field and for her patients instilled that same love and passion in her daughter, Jessica Carlson, M.D.

Both mother and daughter are family medicine providers at Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota. Dr. Miller has been with the organization for almost 20 years and her daughter, Dr. Carlson, has been with Sanford Health for six years.

In addition to her daughter following her medical footsteps, Dr. Miller’s sons have both gone into radiology, and both also work at Sanford Health.

“Medicine is one of those careers where it’s hard to encourage them to go into the field because you really have to know it’s right for you,” Dr. Miller said. “I loved what I do. Maybe they saw how much I enjoyed what I was doing and that inspired them to go into medicine.”

‘She’s a rock star’

While Dr. Miller may not have intentionally encouraged her children to join the medical field, Dr. Carlson agreed that her mother’s dedication and enthusiasm inspired her to join the field as well.

“She’s a rock star,” Dr. Carlson said. “She loves what she does and it makes her happy. Growing up, I got to hear all the interesting stories and see all the things she was learning and it really inspired me to go into the medical field.”

While Dr. Miller may have been an inspiration to Dr. Carlson as a child, Dr. Miller said her daughter inspires her every day.

“I want to emulate the energy and the passion my daughter has,” Dr. Miller said. “It helps keep me enthusiastic to know what she’s doing and with her career and how happy she is and how much she loves it. The empathy she has for her patients is so rewarding to see.”

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