CYSK: Erik & Karen Grossmann

Erik and Karen Grossmann talk about their first date and working together at Columbia Surgical Associates.

What brought you both to Columbia?
E: A chance to join an amazing group of surgeons: Columbia Surgical Associates.
K: Erik had a job opportunity here about 12 years ago. I went to high school here and loved Columbia, plus my parents live here. I was so excited for the chance to return; I had our belongings packed and house on the market before the job offer was official.

What’s it like to work together?
E: We honestly have a ton of fun working together.
K: We don’t get to work together very often, but when we do, we have a great time. I am a circulating nurse in an operating room and sometimes I get to work with him in the OR (Erik is a surgeon). We have a lot of fun with each other and the other staff in the room. Telling embarrassing family stories or making fun of ourselves and each other can usually get everyone laughing.

What interests or excites you about working in the health care field?
E: There are many ways to experience pleasure, but happiness only comes from helping people.
K: I absolutely love taking care of people. Working as a nurse is honestly my dream job, and it is a privilege to be able to take care of people when they are at their most vulnerable.

What do you like to do in your free time?
E: I have a neighborhood dad garage band called Vertical Mattress.
K: See earlier to-do list comment.

What is the key to a lasting and healthy relationship?
E: Empathy.
K: Choosing a partner who is funny, more laid back than I am, and very, VERY forgiving.

What is the best quality about your partner?
E: She has superpowers: 1. Her sense of smell: as in track a fugitive through the swamp sense of smell. 2. Ability to locate extra-dimensional space: in a purse, a suitcase, or in the trunk of a car for one more thing. 3. Confession power: strangers are compelled to share their deepest secrets within minutes of meeting her.
K: He can make me laugh all the time. He is almost always in a good mood, looking on the bright side of everything, and constantly trying to improve himself.

What does the future hold for you?
E: Surprises.
K: Our oldest is leaving for college next fall, so the whole family dynamic is about to change. I have no idea what that looks like, but I am simultaneously excited and terrified to see what happens next.

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?
E: Backpacking, camping, and white-water rafting.
K: Running, biking on the MKT Trail, hiking, rock climbing, white-water rafting.

What is your favorite restaurant in Columbia?
E: House of Chow.
K: Addison’s or my own kitchen when I don’t have to cook (Erik is an amazing cook!)

What has been your favorite project to work on together?
E: Preparing our children for their own adventures.
K: We have been on a quest to take our kids to all 50 states.

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