Hi, my name is Erica Burger. I'm a psychiatrist from rural Wisconsin and live with my husband on a farmstead in rural Southwest Wisconsin. In a former life, I worked on organic farms and competed in endurance running events. Outside of medicine, I enjoy gardening, keeping my sourdough starter alive, embodied practices, learning local history, and cooking. I still run a little bit too.
My practice philosophy is informed by many wise mentors, evidence-informed medicine, biodynamic osteopathic medicine, internal family systems therapy, contemplative practices, foraging, and spending much of my life living in the rural Midwest.
I completed my B.A. degree in Sustainable Agriculture at Northern Michigan University in the Upper Peninsula (Marquette, Michigan) in 2009. After working as a home health aide during my senior year, I changed my course and began the pre-medical requirements once I realized that I wanted to directly help people and be a physician. I had been accepted into naturopathic medical school at Bastyr University and almost went that route - but deep down, knew that I wanted the knowledge base and rigor of conventional medical training.
Choosing more of the middle ground, I studied osteopathic medicine at Des Moines University and completed a Masters of Public Health degree from there as well. I completed psychiatry residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, and received the Compassionate Care award in 2018 and 2019, voted on by my peers.
Prior to medical school, I knew that I wanted to practice medicine in a truly holistic way - and not too different from how I saw the benefit of regenerative farming practices and local food systems for both individuals and communities when I was studying sustainable agriculture. I sought out mentorship from leaders in the field and continued to build my knowledge base regarding integrative medicine while learning conventional medicine.
I also work part-time in an inpatient psychiatric hospital with Health Partners, located in Amery, Wisconsin. I'm a deep believer in the power of community, relationship, and helping people restore trust in themselves in order to heal.
About Dr. Erica Burger, Psychiatrist
About Marla Peterson, Clinic Assistant
Hello, my name is Marla Peterson. I am originally from the small town of De Soto, Wisconsin, located along the Mississippi River, just 10 minutes from the clinic. My early years were spent exploring the bluffs and valleys of the Driftless region, working in the fields of the family farm, riding horses, chasing fireflies, building forts -- rarely without my box of well worn Laura Ingalls Wilder books within reach.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in Human Ecology-Interdisciplinary, with a focus on Community Leadership, my path led me to Biloxi, Mississippi, where I dedicated a year and a half to post-Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, first as an AmeriCorps volunteer, then as Manager of a disaster recovery program. During this time, I helped to rebuild homes, coordinated volunteer opportunities for corporate and college groups and led driving tours along the Gulf Coast - indulging in many shrimp po' boys and partaking in numerous crawfish boils all the while.
After returning to Wisconsin, I kicked off what would become a 20-year career in public education with the Madison Metropolitan School District. The first half was spent in school-based roles, then I transitioned to the administrative office, where I worked as a Communications Specialist for nearly a decade. In the summer of 2021, I made the decision to embark on a new chapter and returned to the Driftless region, in what has become a full circle experience.
Outside of my work for the clinic, I enjoy exploring new places through solo travel (most recently the Balkans), enjoying music live or on my turntable, seeking balance through yoga and meditation, and spending time in nature (now, often with a Mary Oliver book in tow). I also spend part of each year in Norway, where I have connected with my ancestors who still reside on the original family farm. When stateside, I retreat to my rustic cabin, nestled on three acres in Ferryville, Wisconsin, just across the river and not far from both the clinic and my childhood home.
I believe in the transformative power of community and human connection, and it brings me immense joy to contribute to the mission of Driftless Integrative Psychiatry, in this unique corner of the world that holds such a special place in my heart.