Father, son team practice medicine in Escanaba

ESCANABA “Povich and Son: Family Doctors.” It’s not exactly a family business, but the name does have a nice ring to it.

It’s been many decades since Delta County has seen a father/son physician team. None in recent history have been family practice physicians. Dr. Mark Povich, medical director of the OSF Medical Group in Escanaba and a family practitioner, welcomed his son, Dr. Jordan Povich, to the Medical Group team this summer after Jordan completed medical school and his family practice residency. Both received doctor of osteopathy degrees from Michigan State University and both have offices on the first floor of the Medical Office building adjacent to OSF St. Francis Hospital. They are across the hall from one another in separate medical practices.

The oldest of Dr. Mark and Carol Povich’s nine children, Jordan had an early interest in the medical field while a teenager in North Dakota, where he took paramedic classes. When the family moved to Escanaba in 1994, he began work with Beacon Ambulance in Kingsford while attending classes at Bay College. After transferring to Northern Michigan University, he began a major in biochemistry and also worked with the ambulance service in Marquette. He said he still hadn’t focused on becoming a physician, but continued his graduate studies in advanced chemistry, a good track to make the educational switch. He eventually made the decision and began to follow his father’s career choice.

“Every parent is happy when their child takes the turn from student to career,” said Mark, sharing one of his most memorable moments, when he was able to go to the MSU ceremony and participate in the actual doctoral hooding for his son. “That was really neat.

“Medicine – helping people with their health concerns in time of need – remains a noble goal in spite of the hardships,” said Mark. “I once told a high school class during a career day event that choosing to be a family physician was, after graduating from high school, the time equivalent of repeating grades 2 through 12, which was met with numerous groans. Making the transition successfully from a teenager to an adult is more important than what profession is chosen, but the fact that Jordan chose to be a family physician and then work in the same organization as me exceeded my expectations. To have the opportunity to work with him reminds me on a daily basis of his dedication and how he now has the opportunity to do good for the health of the folks in our community.”

Despite having two doctors in the family, the father-son duo find they mostly confine professional talk to the office.

“It’s nice that I can run things by him when I feel I need an opinion or a sounding board,” said Jordan. “We get along well and he’s obviously got more experience than I do. But we don’t talk about work outside of the office.”

Having the doctors Povich both on staff has presented a few challenge for staff and the hospital’s switchboard operators.

“When patients call for Dr. Povich, now we say ‘which one? Mark or Jordan? the older one or younger one?'” Mark said.

Jordan recalls one new patient who came in and said, “Oh, you’re a lot younger than I thought.”

The routine is settling in now for the younger Povich. Initially it was an adjustment from the intensity of residency, which focuses on specific medical specialties on a rotating basis, to building a practice.

“Now I’m starting to get follow up patients and getting used to the daily flow of seeing a variety of patient needs every day,” he said.

Jordan and his wife, Jessica (Guindon), live near Marquette where she works for the school system.

Practicing medicine in Escanaba where he spent his teen years has been a positive experience, said Jordan. “I like that my family is here and I’ve been able to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in a while. This is a great community and being able to work with my dad is an added bonus.”