Darin Bell, MD

FMRWM Faculty

Darin Bell on a snowy mountaintop

Where did you attend college?

UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas.

Where did you do your residency?

Alaska Family Medicine Residency, Anchorage, Alaska.

Within your specialty, do you have any sub-specialty areas of practice that you particularly enjoy?

I enjoy broad spectrum family medicine, and am particularly interested in rural and underserved medicine, oversees medicine, and wilderness and remote medicine. Basically, the fewer available resources, the more interesting it is to me.

What do you most enjoy about practicing Family Medicine?

I like the relationships and the variety of Family Medicine. I like to get to know my patients and their families, and to hear their stories. It’s rewarding and can be very helpful when trying to understand what may be contributing to a particular patient’s situation, or when coming up with a workable plan of care. The challenge of figuring out puzzling situations, and the variety of never knowing what is going to walk through the door also keeps Family Medicine interesting.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I enjoy helping residents and students figure things out for themselves and watching them grow and develop their skills. But mostly I enjoy the ongoing learning process. Teaching requires you to continuously look up, add to, and refresh your knowledge, and question your own practices. Learners will question your teaching (rightly so), forcing you to justify what you do, or change your practice. I learn as much or more from residents and students as they learn from me.

What brought you to Montana?

The opportunity to teach, and be involved with a new and developing Family Medicine residency program. After practicing in rural and bush Alaska for several years, my wife and I decided it was time to move several thousand miles closer to family, without a foreign country between us.

Why did you choose to be part of the FMRWM?

I have wanted to be more involved with teaching for years. The opportunity to assist with the start of a new program, and to help develop an outstanding educational experience for residents who want to practice broad spectrum, rural Family Medicine, was exactly what I was looking for. It also doesn’t hurt that Missoula is in a great location, where outdoor opportunities abound.

What are some of your interests outside of the clinic or classroom?

Skiing, running, biking, camping/backpacking, climbing, kayaking, cooking, and brewing beer. Basically anything that gets me outside and away from civilization for a while, or anything that yields a consumable end product I enjoy.

What do you love about Western Montana?

The easy availability of wilderness and outdoor activities. The people are all incredibly friendly and relaxed. And I really like the fact that you very rarely see a necktie.

What is your favorite:

  • Book? I love to read, and can’t say that I really have one favorite book. Ishmael was a book that I enjoyed as a teenager, and helped form some of my particular world perspectives.
  • Album? I like a variety of music and prefer to listen to mixes rather than a whole album straight through, but if I had to pick, Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits would be near the top.
  • Movie? See “Book” above. My most watched movie of all time is The Goonies. I loved it as a kid, and it remained surprisingly entertaining on many a late night in college.