Oly Ortho is growing. That’s evident by the influx of newly hired physicians and staff at the Olympia based single-specialty group. But, what’s not so evident when looking just at the statistics is the increase in nationally-recognized experts who are choosing to make Olympia Orthopaedic Associates their home.
One of these experts is Dr. Tim DuMontier, joining Olympia Orthopaedics Associates in November 2014.
Dr. DuMontier was born and raised on a ranch in Montana just north of Missoula in the town of Arlee. His parents split their time between ranching and running the nearby service station in Ravalli. Both endeavors were family affairs, but Tim felt a connection to the land. “My job was at the ranch, feeding horses, exercising horses, putting up hay – all that’s involved with keeping a ranch running,” he explains. He credits this upbringing with instilling a solid work ethic that carries over into all aspects of his life, including his work as an orthopaedic surgeon.
Despite his love of the horses and wide open spaces, he was ready to experience the “big city” and headed to USC in Los Angeles. “I wanted to go someplace different. It was sunny and there was a good football team,” he laughs. Coming from a high school of 130 students total, USC was about as different as he could get.
Dr. DuMontier continued his studies at the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle where he also completed his Orthopaedic Surgery residency. “It’s one of the top programs in the nation and I felt fortunate for the opportunity to be there,” he says.
Dr. DuMontier and his wife settled into the city for the challenging years of residency, all the while knowing he wanted to go back to Montana. “I tried to really pay attention to all aspects of the orthopaedic training, not just one specialty,” recalls Dr. DuMontier. “I knew if I was in a small town in Montana, I wouldn’t just be dealing with one part of the body – I’d have finger injuries, knees, shoulders – the whole gamut.”
However, while at Harborview Medical Center, he was drawn to the field of foot and ankle injuries. “The effort and quality of the very talented surgeons impressed me and I was drawn to the idea of working with these types of traumatic foot and ankle injuries,” shares DuMontier.
He completed a fellowship in Foot and Ankle near Detroit, Michigan and upon completion, Dr. DuMontier came full circle and returned to Montana.
While he knew he wanted to return to his roots, he was also obligated to return. “When I left for USC, part of my schooling, as well as part of my medical school, was paid for by an Indian Health Service Scholarship. To pay it back, you are required to serve an Indian population for four years,” he explains.
He spent four years serving the Flathead Indian Reservation, only about 10 minutes from his childhood home. He focused about 40% of his time on foot and ankle and the rest general orthopaedics.
He then shifted to work in Kalispell, Montana, in a larger medical center. “I did some general orthopaedics but foot and ankle were my focus,” he explains. “It was a large service area and people came from far around with complex problems so it was very challenging and rewarding.”
After several years, he was again looking for opportunities for growth and challenge. “I like the challenge of learning new things and believe when you do something, you should try and do it the best you can,” he shares.
He saw the opportunity at Olympia Orthopaedics Associates advertised and knew Dr. Agtarap from time spent together in Seattle when he was Chief Resident. “I just had a good feeling about it. They were looking for someone to do foot and ankle and help establish a Foot and Ankle Center and I thought, ‘wow – that would be an exciting challenge and a great way to utilize my expertise.’” With the support of all the other specialties and departments, Dr. DuMontier is excited to join a team where he remains laser focused on his work in foot and ankle.
Once the family all visited Olympia, something clicked. “I just knew we could be really happy here,” he shares.
What else attracted him to the area? Dr. DuMontier is an avid sailor and is looking very much forward to learning to sail on the Puget Sound. He also loves to run and stays active with his whole family including three children ages seven, nine, and twelve along with their Schnauzer, Walter.
When I asked him about his hobbies off the water he shares, “I love to raise orchids. I dabble in yoga, and have classic cars.” Yes, Dr. DuMontier could be described as well-rounded.
As he joins the team at Oly Ortho, Dr. DuMontier knows he’ll be able to impact patient’s lives for the better.
“The reason I do what I do is that foot injuries can be significant and life altering. The limitations you experience when your foot is injured are huge,” he explains, when referencing Oly Ortho’s motto of Life in Motion. “It’s very rewarding to help people get back to function, back on their feet so to speak.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. DuMontier, call Oly Ortho at 800-936-3386.