From patient to pediatrician, Dr. Porter Peterson shares her full circle story, including the moment she knew she wanted to end up at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Cabarrus Pediatrics.

News, Child Health | 28 days ago

From Patient to Pediatrician, ‘We’re Still Kids at Heart’

From patient to pediatrician, Dr. Porter Peterson shares her full circle story, including the moment she knew she wanted to end up at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Cabarrus Pediatrics.

By Porter Peterson, M.D., pediatrician at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Cabarrus Pediatrics

I was only five years old, but I can still remember the wood paneling. “Gosh, it’s dark in here,” I said to myself as I approached Dr. George Engstrom’s office.

But doctor’s offices weren’t at all scary to me. I joke but even that 60s décor couldn’t scare me away. My dad is a longtime physician, so going to Atrium Health Levine Children’s Cabarrus Pediatrics (formerly Cabarrus Pediatrics) was actually comforting. It’s in what I now call ‘the heart of Concord’ since this city has grown so much over the years.

Once I was in first grade, I took my infatuation with the doctor’s office to the next level – I decided I would be a ‘kid doctor’ someday. And not just any pediatrician – a pediatrician at Cabarrus Pediatrics.

I first stepped foot (rather I was carried) into that office when I was one year old. As a patient there from 1976 to 1994, I was treated by very well-known and respected physicians.

Fast forward 28 years, and I now work at that practice as Dr. Porter Peterson.

I still can’t believe how my first grade self knew where I was meant to be after going to Davidson College for undergrad, medical school at East Carolina University and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist for residency. Even meeting my husband from Minnesota couldn’t keep me away. He found a job in Charlotte, and that’s when it dawned on me that my dreams of being a pediatrician in my hometown were possible. Then there was an opening at Cabarrus Pediatrics. I applied, and the rest is history. I’ve been practicing here for 14 years now.

What’s changed? Well, physically everything because we’re in a new building (no longer seeing patients in an older home). Goodbye, wood paneling! But in all seriousness, the values of Cabarrus Pediatrics remain the same. Our practice was founded on compassion and personalized care. Decades later, we are genuinely enthusiastic about caring for children, which is evident in everything we do.

As the oldest pediatric group in Concord, we consider ourselves the ‘Cabarrus Pediatrics Family’ having been practicing for more than 65 years and counting. I’m truly grateful and have a special appreciation for the practice that once treated me and now enables me to treat others.

From being a patient to present day, so much has happened to lead me to and remain in Concord. I’m married with two teenage sons and two fur babies. My dad is 75 years old and a practicing physician in Concord. My parents still live in the house I grew up in – just one mile away from my house today. My sister is a lawyer in Charlotte, so everything I need and want is here in the heart of Concord.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised my younger self knew where I’d be happy. After all, my childhood photo is plastered on our practice’s wall with the saying, “We’re still kids at heart.”

Series of physician childhood photos hanging in Atrium Health Levine Children's Cabarrus Pediatrics