There’s a new doctor in town


Rick Sorrels

Before Dr. Roes opened his medical center in Key Center about 1987, the closest medical center for Key Peninsula residents was Dr. Finkleman and his medical center in Purdy, located on 144th Street near the Westwynd Motel and the shoreline for Burley Lagoon. 

Finkleman has now retired after 35 years of medical service. Finkleman’s practice and medical center has been sold to Dr. Michael Wingren, with patients being seen since September 2014. It is operating under the name of Sound Clinical Medicine PS. 

Wingren grew up in Bemidji, Minnesota, graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in biology at the age of 19. His first job was counting mosquitoes in a swamp for UM, which caused him to think, “There must be something better.”  

Wingren joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Kenya, Africa. Within a year he became the head of the tech school where the students learned agriculture (how to raise crops) and woodwork. 

In 1981, while still in Kenya, Wingren had what he calls a “waking dream,” which showed him his life’s calling of being a doctor and treating disease. Since then he has dedicated his life to providing the best medical services possible at the grassroots level. 

Wingren finished medical school at UM, obtained a master’s in Public Health Administration, and did his three-year residency at the University of California at San Diego. 

His first medical practice was at Lake Forest Park, Washington where he took over from a general practitioner. Many of his patients did not have medical insurance, so he frequently took payment in fish or cash. He had expanded the building and added six doctors to the staff before he left. 

Wingren was hired and became the director at a troubled clinic in Friday Harbor, Washington. All the existing doctors had been fired by the hospital’s board. He took on a formidable task, and developed and expanded the clinic into a full hospital with an emergency room and 15 doctors on staff. 

After 28 years of working in other peoples’ clinics, Wingren wanted to run his own clinic and found Finkleman’s offer attractive. 

Wingren currently sees most of the patients himself. Dr. Terry Stanford, a female physician, sees patients on Fridays. Wingren has two medical assistants and one billing person. His wife also assists. Wingren has one adult child. Stanford’s husband is a former astronaut. 

Wingren considers both he and Stanford to be “family practice doctors” and explains what that means. 

There was a restructuring of the medical system in the 1960s, which led to the phase-out of “general practitioners.”  

“General practitioners completed medical school and went straight to practice without the three year residency,” said Wingren. 

“Family practice doctors complete the three-year residency training, and normally prescribe hundreds of medicines,” said Wingren. “They can handle 90 percent of the medical problems presented and refer the remaining cases to the proper specialists in the system.” 

Wingren’s special areas of interest are cardiology and vascular issues, dermatology and psychiatry. He expects to hire two more full-time practitioners within the next five years. He is also one of the few doctors around authorized to certify for CDL (commercial driver’s license). 

“We care about our patients and their outcomes,” he said. 

For more information, call (253) 857-6166.