No one can accuse Dr. Marlene Bultemeyer of taking the easy route. Growing up on a farm in east Allen County, she developed a strong work ethic. Before she finished her undergraduate studies at the University of Saint Francis, she knew she wanted to become either a researcher or a doctor. Either way, more years of study lay in front of her.
When Dr. Bultemeyer entered the Indiana University School of Medicine to begin her training, she was already a married mother of one. By the time she graduated, she had two more children and had also navigated her husband’s deployment in the military.
“I think you figure out what you’re made of,” says Dr. Bultemeyer. “I didn’t want to sidetrack the rest of my life for medicine. As much as I enjoy being a doctor, I enjoy being part of a family even more.”
Today, Dr. Bultemeyer is a practicing neurologist who is board-certified in epilepsy. Although she did not initially plan to return to the area, she says she fell in love with Fort Wayne Neurological Center when she joined the practice in 2010.
“This is a very forward-thinking group,” says Dr. Bultemeyer. “It’s one of those things you think you’re going to find in a university setting, but when
you find it in a community practice, it’s special.”
Her work at Fort Wayne Neurological Center centers on patients who have been newly diagnosed with epilepsy or those who have difficulty controlling the disease. In a nod toward her early career dilemma, she also serves as the head of the research department for her group.
As Dr. Bultemeyer helps patients find appropriate treatments, she starts with education.
“I take a common sense approach,” she says. “I try to help people get a better level of understanding of their own disease process and how it’s managed.”
Dr. Bultemeyer finds it especially rewarding when she can help patients control their epilepsy to normalize their lives. Although this condition affects as many as one in 26 people, it often inappropriately carries a stigma that makes people feel alienated. The risk of having a seizure may cause them to lose jobs or friendships, so they withdraw from others.
Dr. Bultemeyer uses plain talk and genuine care to help her connect with patients. She hopes they ultimately will consider her a trusted friend rather than an impersonal expert.
“I may be a doctor,” she says, “but I’m just like everybody else. I see myself as just an average person who happens to have medical knowledge. I’m a member of the community just trying to make my corner of the world better.”
She may not have taken the easy route, but Dr. Bultemeyer certainly has taken the high road.
Address: 7956 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 210 Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804
Phone: (260) 436-2416
Products & Services: Fort Wayne Neurological Center provides patients suffering from neurological and spinal disorders with advanced, comprehensive, and accessible care. The healthcare team is committed to offering unequaled service through the entire continuum of a patient’s care, including: evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, prevention, education, research, referral and administration. Specialties include multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s/dementia, movement disorders, sleep disorders, stroke, and neurodiagnostics.