Anita-LaneDr. Anita Lane’s fourth-grade science teacher set her on her professional path during a parent-teacher conference.

“He told my mom that I was a very bright student and could be anything I wanted to be, including a physician,” Lane said. “I remember thinking, ‘OK then, I’ll be a physician.’ ”

Prior to that epiphany, Lane had dreams of becoming a ballerina while growing up in Joliet, Ill. Rather than pursuing dance, however, she received her undergraduate degree in speech from Northwestern University in 1987, graduated medical school from the University of Illinois and did her post-graduate training at Northwestern University in internal medicine. She moved to Colorado Springs, her husband’s hometown, in 1994. Here she joined what was then the Penrose-St. Francis Medical Group, which has since morphed into the Mountain View Medical Group. Lane practiced internal medicine there for 17 years.

She has since gone on to open her own direct-pay practice with business partner, Dr. Sheila Bee. Lane said the traditional-model practice meant seeing more than 20 patients a day in order to make ends meet. Now she sees fewer than half that many patients over a few days a week and, in turn, provides better care and spends more time with each patient. The practice doesn’t deal with insurance, but will provide forms to the patient to seek reimbursement.

Lane, a mother of three daughters, said this recognition was completely unexpected.

“I was kind of surprised to even be considered because I never considered myself a business person,” Lane said. “It’s an incredible honor. … It brought me to tears. You live your life day to day and don’t realize the impact have you have on people. It’s nice to be recognized.”

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[pullquote]If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.[/pullquote]When not practicing medicine, Lane keeps in touch with her inner-performer.

“I was a pompom girl in college, took dance lessons in med school and taught aerobics when I was doing my residency,” she said. “When I moved out here and had my first daughter, she told me when she was 5 that she wanted to be on Broadway.”

Lane began searching for auditions for her daughter when she saw the Fine Arts Center was auditioning for “Cabaret.”

“I was 39 at the time,” she said. “I went to the audition and was the oldest in room by 15 or 20 years. Before I left for the audition, my husband said he was proud of me for even trying. When I got home, I told him that I thought I was going to be picked. He asked me how much time it was going to take.”

Lane has since performed in six plays, including “Anything Goes,” “Crazy for You” and “The Producers” over the past decade.

“I wanted to audition for “Guys and Dolls” in the spring but my niece is getting married,” Lane said. “I’m turning 50 next year, so I’m not sure how much longer I can be chorus girl.”

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