By the time they were in the fourth grade, Kraig and Kirk Jacobson knew they were destined to become doctors. Both excelled in school. And they had a father who was a pediatrician and a mother who was a nurse practitioner.

“There just wasn’t any question about what we were going to do,” says Kraig, the eldest of the twin brothers.

The twins – numbers three and four in a line of 10 children – would have to work hard to pay for college. By 13, they were spending their summers working up to 14-hour days at a bean farm. After school, they worked at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour and during the summers in college at several food canneries.

Growing up in the Salem area, Kraig and Kirk were fiercely competitive, especially at basketball, always looking to one-up the other. The same was true in medical school. Both finished college a year early – Kirk at the University of Oregon and Kraig at Oregon State – and enrolled at the University of Oregon Medical School (now Oregon Health and Science University) in Portland and graduated together in 1974.

Kirk returned to Eugene to practice internal medicine, while Kraig continued his studies in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in California and Colorado. In 1979, Kraig moved to Eugene and began treating patients for allergies and asthma, less than a block away from his brother.

In 1997, they decided to combine their practices. Then in 2008, they seized an opportunity to expand their facility to accommodate more patients, doctors and staff. “It was like all of the puzzle pieces came together – we now provide a full-spectrum of care,” Kirk says.

The brothers worked day and night, seven days a week, doing much of the remodeling and landscaping themselves while maintaining their practice (both thank their grandfather, a carpenter and cabinet-maker, for passing down his woodworking gene). Now they are beginning to realize the fruits of their labor.

Today, Oak Street Medical P.C. and Oregon Allergy Associates offers a unique combination of complementary health care services that include Primary Care, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Diabetes and Mental Health.

“The bottom line is patient care and feeling good about what we do,” Kirk says. “If you can work with people who know how to have fun and have a passion for what they do, it doesn’t really seem like work – it’s pure nirvana.”