Oaklawn's new general surgeon has strong ties to medicine, community

MARSHALL – Catherine Burtrum never had far to look for inspiration in choosing her future career as a physician.

“As I was growing up, just watching my father inspired me to go the same route, to be able to help people the way he did,” she recalls.

Burtrum is the daughter of Dr. John G. Bizon, M.D., of Battle Creek, a specialist in ear, nose and throat conditions. These days, Bizon is in a different arena, having been elected last year to represent Michigan’s 62ndDistrict in the Michigan House of Representatives.

“I was 6 or 7 years old, going to the hospital when he was on rounds on the weekends, interacting with the nurses and patients’ families,” Burtrum recalled.

“I saw just how appreciative the patients were and how it affected him. He was happy when the patients would do well and he was able to do some service that would improve a patient’s life.”

In fact, Burtrum said, the idea of following some other career path never seemed to enter her mind.

“The only thing I’ve ever talked about doing was going to medical school and becoming a physician like my father,” she said. “It’s the only thing I ever aspired to be.”

As a result, Burtrum now is joining the Oaklawn Medical Group to practice general surgery out of Oaklawn Hospital, focusing on such general procedures as those involving the appendix, breast, gallbladder and hernia issues.

“There’s a great deal of satisfaction in seeing the difference a surgeon can make in someone’s life, helping to free someone from pain and to really help them,” Burtrum said.

In 2005, Burtrum graduated summa cum laude from Albion College’s bachelor’s program, majoring in chemistry. She went on to Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she received her doctor of osteopathy degree in 2010.

Burtrum recently completed her residency in general surgery at Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming, Mich., where she also served as a resident physician in the intensive care unit from 2011 to 2013.

She is board-eligible and plans to sit for her written board exams in early October, after which she will take her oral board examinations in 2016. Her current certifications and licenses include advanced life support for cardiac, trauma and burns.

Burtrum is a member the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, the Michigan State Medical Society, the American Osteopathic Association, the Michigan Osteopathic Association and Phi Beta Kappa.

Saying that she “wants to come back home,” Burtrum and her husband of eight years, Brent, are moving from the Wayland area to Marshall, where they intend to purchase a home.

“We love the city. It’s such a cute, quaint town,” Burtrum observed. “While I was growing up, we made trips with my sisters to Marshall and enjoyed coming to the different festivals, including the Fourth of July parade. We think it’s a great little town and we want to be part of it. Both of our families still live in Calhoun County, so it’s nice to have family close by.”

Brent Burtrum is a systems engineer for Perrigo Co., a health-care company in Allegan. Catherine and Brent both grew up in Battle Creek and now have a daughter. As a family, they enjoy the outdoors, especially activities involving running, biking, boating and waterskiing. Brent also is an avid golfer.

Burtrum’s office will be situated at the Oaklawn Medical Group General Surgical Associates Office at 215 E. Mansion St., Suite 3E, joining Dr. Andrew Gordon and Dr. Caron Warnsby. Appointments may be scheduled by calling (269) 781-4267.

“Adding Dr. Burtrum to our surgical staff is just another step toward strengthening Oaklawn’s  commitment to the communities in our service area,” said the group’s Executive Director, Mark Montross. “Catherine has a great career ahead of her. She is a caring physician, and she already has demonstrated that she’ll be a powerful part of the clinical team we’ve created at the Oaklawn Medical Group.”

People who would like to receive help in finding a family-practice physician or being referred to another Oaklawn Medical Group physician may call 1-888-OAKLAWN (625-5296).

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