Dr. Merkel grew up in Topeka, Kansas, attending the University of Kansas for his undergraduate education as well as medical school, prior to completing a residency in family practice at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been practicing medicine in Fort Collins since moving here in 1975. He is a Fellow of the American Board of Family Medicine. He has been active in state medical politics and is past-president of the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care. Married with four sons, his hobbies and interests include family activities, CSU athletics, hiking and skiing.