- Photo by Anthony Jinson
Owner and Physician, Liberty Family Medicine
Bridget Gruender’s life as a medical student was anything but ordinary.
In addition to the grueling hours of managing her three-year residency program in family medicine, she was a new wife and mother and a budding entrepreneur. She spent what little free time she had planning her new business and moonlighting to fund the startup, which opened the day after graduation.
“Most physicians receive little business training, as they’re employed by large companies after graduation,” Bridget explains. “Since I decided to buck the status quo, I have had to learn a lot about being a small business owner and how to run the business successfully, which adds a different level of complexity.”
Not only did Bridget open a new family practice in July of 2016, but she opened Liberty Family Medicine to offer affordable and accessible primary care to Columbia and the surrounding communities.
“After seeing so many patients unable to access or afford necessary primary care, we decided to start our clinic so that the people of Mid-Missouri from all walks of life would be able to access not only affordable primary care, but also personalized care,” she says.
While many may not understand the complexities, Dr. Arminta Phelps, owner of Achieve Balance Chiropractic, does.
Arminta admires Bridget not only as a doctor, but as a businesswoman and community influencer. “It takes some major guts and grit to open a direct primary care clinic and not be umbrellaed under a major entity,” Arminta says. “She saw a need and stepped up to the challenge so that she could create true relationships with her patients.”
Bridget would like to continue growing the clinic by adding more patients, physicians, services available, and possibly another location. She would also like to continue mentoring others.
“For me, success is feeling fulfilled in both my personal and professional life while effectively using the gifts I’ve been given to help others,” Bridget says. “I try to be an open book about my successes and failures and use these experiences to offer advice to others so that they can find their way a little easier.“
Fun Fact: Bridget gets a giggle out of spicing up her scrubs with graphic socks.