Meet Dr. Chandra Marshall, a Family Physician at Lone Tree Family Practice | by
Chandra Marshall was a kindergartner when her 19-year-old uncle was paralyzed in a car accident. “Tyler lived with my family, so I thought of him as my big brother,” says Chandra, who still remembers spending long days at the hospital and rehabilitation center as she waited for Tyler to return to his former self and play with her. Tyler’s life with quadriplegia exposed the young girl to medical scenes most children would shirk from. “All of the doctors, nurses and therapists provided such kind encouragement and support to Tyler and our family,” she recalls. “I enjoyed their company.”
Five years later, Chandra found herself mirroring the compassion of those caregivers when her mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Chandra helped look after her 3-year-old brother, and as soon as she was old enough to drive, she took her mom to her medical appointments.
By the time she was a sophomore at Columbine High School, Chandra already had a strong interest in medicine. When she survived the school shooting that claimed the lives of 12 of her classmates and a teacher, Chandra knew she wanted to become a doctor so she could help people.
Q: What attracted you to osteopathic medicine?
Dr. Marshall: The summer before my senior year of college, I went on a university-sponsored trip to China. I was among a group of students who visited three different provinces to learn more about traditional Chinese medicine. Their practices of using what we call complementary or alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbal medicines have been around for thousands of years. I was intrigued by this holistic approach to health and well-being.
People in China have no problem combining traditional practices with Western medicine when appropriate. I, too, felt there was a place for both approaches. When I learned that osteopathic medicine embraced a holistic approach, I knew that was the medical degree for me.
As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, I’m trained in osteopathic manipulation, an approach that’s similar to physical therapy. Patients are often surprised how a simple adjustment can alleviate an ache or solve another problem. While I don’t personally offer therapies like acupuncture, I fully support their use and have excellent referral connections for my patients.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a family physician?
Dr. Marshall: I love providing care for all members of a family, from newborns to parents and grandparents. It allows me to really get to know my patients and be a partner in their care through all stages of life. It also means variety. In any given day I’m vaccinating children, doing well-woman exams, using osteopathic manipulation to ease muscle aches and pains, and helping patients make lifestyle changes to improve their health and manage chronic conditions.
Q: What can patients expect when they come to see you?
Dr. Marshall: I’m a pretty open and direct person. I was exposed to a lot of trauma at a young age, and I use those experiences to build trust with my patients. Many of us have dealt with some level of trauma in our lives like a divorce or financial hardship. I find that patients are more willing to open up to me when they know that I’ve overcome my own hardships.
I partner with patients who are at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, helping them make lifestyle changes to stay well. And if you’re like many Americans who already have one or more of these illnesses, I can help you find the right balance of medications, physical activity and diet to improve your health.
Q: What was your education and career path like?
Dr. Marshall: I served for six years as an F-16 avionics specialist with the Colorado Air National Guard while pursuing my college degree. People sometimes ask how that job relates to medicine. In both careers, there’s always a need to fix something, so a lot of problem solving happens. I also could look at a plane’s wiring and circuitry as being similar to the body’s nervous system.
Q: Why did you join Lone Tree Family Medicine?
Dr. Marshall: Although Dr. Chester Cedars is retired now from Lone Tree Family Medicine, he was my family’s primary care physician. He delivered my baby brother. When I was heading off to college, Dr. Cedars was one of my biggest supporters. He told me I would have a job waiting at Lone Tree Family Medicine when I got my medical degree. And here I am.
Q: What are your outside interests?
Dr. Marshall: Prior to my son’s birth in late 2020, I liked to fill my time attending concerts, training for endurance events or just being outside biking, hiking, rollerblading or snowboarding. I also enjoy cooking, crocheting and painting. Like a lot of my patients, I’m still trying to master the art of juggling work and family. As much as possible, I try to enjoy the Colorado outdoors with my family, including our dog.
Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) Medicine Degree: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill, in Greensburg, PA
Bachelor’s Degree: University of Colorado, Boulder
Residency: Fort Collins Family Medicine and UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital
Board Certification: American Board of Family Medicine
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