Getting “Shots at the Shop” outside Wilson’s Image (l-r) Anna Hyde Babington-Johnson, nurse Beverly Propes, Bryen Bogan and Dr. Zeke McKinney Photo courtesy: Thomas McCallister

Considering how much time we spend on the job, it is not surprising that work is a huge determinant of our health. Generally, almost all work-related illnesses and injuries are preventable. My goal is to try to improve the overall health of my patients by reducing the risks of getting preventable illnesses and injuries. I work to help my patients return quickly as possible to good health when the unpreventable occurs, and to adapt to any disabilities or impairments that may arise. When meeting with patients, I focus on the individual’s needs, recognizing that every patient has their own unique situation. Each person’s story is different and I try to get to know them as individuals and to help them reach their goals. Overall, I want each patient to reach their optimal level of performance and function, whether at work or in their individual activities.Show less

More about me

Why did you become an occupational medicine doctor?

Being able to aid individuals when they are ill and vulnerable is a true privilege, one which I felt a responsibility to pursue. Because people are greatly affected when they can’t function at their best, the role of an occupational medicine physician in helping patients return to activities they want to do well – both at work and at home – is very fulfilling.

What can patients expect if they choose you as their occupational medicine doctor?

Patients working with me can always expect that I will listen to their concerns and take them very seriously. We will always discuss options for treatment that are aligned with their own goals for their health and well-being.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. I also like to play the ukulele and saxophone, build computers and spend time outdoors swimming and hiking.

What are your favorite ways of staying healthy?

To stay healthy, I will optimistically be outdoors chasing my kiddos, hiking, or biking. Otherwise, a rowing machine provides a great upper- and lower-body cardiovascular workout.

Where is your hometown?

Minneapolis, MN

How would your friends and family describe you?

My family and friends would describe me as compassionate and hard-working.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a doctor! My mother was a nurse my entire life, and my father always wanted to be a physician. Learning from both of them how much a clinician can impact the life of an individual, it always was a true calling where I could serve the dire need of someone else.

What’s a piece of advice you carry with you? And who shared it with you?

My father always described that hard work supersedes talent, personality, or personal characteristics (such as good looks). This has continued to be true, where diligence has served me to conquer tasks and moments of adversity.

What is your favorite thing about living in Minnesota?

Minnesota is great because as a state, we invest in ourselves. We pay higher taxes than many states, but it comes with great benefits. The Twin Cities has the most parks per square capita of anywhere in the United States. We have the best public radio in the country, Minneapolis is the most prolific city for bicycling in the country, our health care is always in the top quartile of quality while being in the lowest quartile of cost, and we invest a lot in public services.

What are your top achievements?

I am triple board-certified in Occupational Medicine, General Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and Clinical Informatics. I currently serve as the chief medical editor for Minnesota Medicine, the state’s medical journal. I have also published more than 20 peer-reviewed medical articles.

What else would you like patients to know about you?

I believe strongly in the primary tenet of medical ethics: patient autonomy. As a doctor, I believe I am a source of information, and it is my duty to help patients use information about their health or illness to make decisions that are right for them.


REAL Doctors, REAL Questions with Dr. Zeke McKinney

Follow Dr. Zeke McKinney as he addresses the myths surrounding vaccination and why it so important for our community to get connected.