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Why I’m Here

Peter Ladner, MD, Joins Complex Care Team


Straight out of residency, Peter Ladner, MD, knew he wanted to start his medical career at Gillette Children’s. “I had known about Gillette growing up in the Twin Cities. In my last year of residency, I rotated through Gillette as part of a complex care rotation. I met providers engaged in the type of care that I thought would align well with my own interests and with my medical training in internal medicine and pediatrics, and I was really impressed by all the resources Gillette provides [to our patients],” he shares. 

After attending medical school at the University of Chicago, Dr. Ladner returned to Minnesota to complete his residency and specialty training. His role at Gillette is his first full-time attending position after his residency training. 

A Wealth of Resources Makes Providing Quality Complex Care a Breeze

One of Dr. Ladner’s favorite aspects of his position at Gillette is the amount of time he gets to spend with each patient he sees. “I love having the time afforded to me by this position to actually sit down and listen to patients and families and find out what they need. I’m lucky to have long appointment slots, which is a real luxury in medicine—nowadays [in traditional clinics] you’re pushed to see as many patients as possible.” 

Dr. Ladner says that the extra services available to all Gillette families—from nurse care managers to patient navigators—makes his job as a provider easier, and he sees the effect such thoughtful care has on his patients and their families. “Building a whole team around a patient helps them achieve their health and personal goals, and it allows their families and caregivers to focus on being family and caregivers. It takes some of that extra work off [the family's] shoulders,” says Dr. Ladner. “Navigating the medical system can be really complicated and doing that on top of dealing with complex disease can be tricky. I’m so glad that Gillette can take on a lot of that for patients and families. It is a huge perk of my job—it allows me to be what I always envisioned a doctor to be, which is somebody who has time to listen and really think about how to help people.” 

Working with Experts Makes Finding Answers Easier

Because of the world-renowned skill of Gillette providers, Dr. Ladner feels comfortable admitting when he needs to consult a colleague for answers. “I don’t want to pretend I’m an expert in something I’m not, and at Gillette I feel I can be honest with a family and say that ‘I might not know everything about this, but I have the time and resources around me to figure this out for you.’ It’s fun to practice medicine in a system where I’ve got people who are leading experts in a whole range of surgical and medical specialties whom I can learn from.” 

Dr. Ladner puts himself in the shoes of his patients and their families daily. “The type of doctor I would want for myself or my family would be somebody who can come to them and be honest and open about their own limitations and knowledge or experience, rather than having an ego about it. I’m here to help them figure this out, and I have people who can help me figure it out.” 

A Passion for Caring for Complex Patients Throughout Their Lives

As a complex care physician, Dr. Ladner is keenly aware that care needs do not stop once a patient ages out of the pediatric healthcare system. “Something that is important to me is helping adults who are struggling. In the pediatric world, we’re used to having [comprehensive] services for pediatric patients, but that care gets more fragmented in the adult world, and adults with complex medical needs can get left behind.” 

He shares a recent story about two separate young adult patients he was able to help. “They were having a lot of trouble with maintaining their weight, nutrition, and eating. It was having an impact on their health, and we were able to discuss with each of them the possibility of something like a feeding tube, which could really improve their lives by getting them adequate nutrition and taking off some of the stress of trying to maintain a healthy weight.” After guiding each of these patients through the process of feeding tube placement, “We learned on the other side how happy they were when they could more easily put on weight and just eat for enjoyment, rather than as a medical need. We got them through that process with the help of Gillette.” 

Shares Dr. Ladner, “The most exciting thing about being a part of Gillette is that I know pediatricians are concerned about what happens to patients as they grow out of pediatric services. I feel lucky to be a point of continuity for patients, where I don’t have to say goodbye when they turn 18 but can continue alongside them in their healthcare journey and make sure they have what they need.” 

An Outdoorsman, a Minneapolitan, and a Parent

Dr. Ladner lives with his family in Minneapolis. “We enjoy being outside as much as possible throughout all the seasons, and we really embrace all that nature has to offer, even within the Cities.” Hiking and biking rule the Ladner family’s summer months, while skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating see them through winter. “But most of my non-work time these days is spent parenting a toddler, which is a new full-time job,” he laughs.