The North Country Orthopaedic Group has been going strong for 52 years, and having that solid practice is something that attracted Dr. Edward W. Choung and Dr. Anel M. Abreu to practice here.
The two orthopaedic surgeons recently replaced Dr. Arthur C. Peckham and Dr. David O. Van Eenenaam, who both retired this fall.
I figured if I lived in a more ideal spot, but was in a bad practice, I wouldnt get used to that, Dr. Choung said. Having the chance to meet each of the partners, it seemed like a good gig. Plus, there was a low turnover rate; it was an ideal practice.
Dr. Abreu said he liked the variety of services offered by the whole team.
The group is very collegial, which is kind of a rarity, he said Friday. I thought Id benefit from the guys that had been here awhile.
Dr. Abreu served nearly five years in the Army as a medic at both Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Campbell, Ky., before going to medical school. He received his medical degree at the Philadelphia (Pa.) College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completed an internship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, N.J. Dr. Abreu also completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, and an adult reconstruction fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
He is in the process of becoming board-certified with the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Dr. Choung received his medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, Calif. He completed his residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School/North Jersey Orthopaedic Institute.
He completed a fellowship in sports medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, Manhattan.
Originally from California, Dr. Choung said that while he enjoys warm weather, he is looking forward to getting back into winter sports.
Dr. Peckham has spent more time hunting and relaxing since his retirement Oct. 1.
I just started with cutting back a year ago, and this year I decided to call it a day, he said Friday. It was a matter of I wasnt needed anymore, Im basically enjoying life at this time, and the stress level has diminished immensely.
Dr. Peckham had been with the Orthopaedic Group since 1977. His colleague Dr. Van Eenenaam had been at the group since 1968.
Dr. Van Eenenaam said he chose to retire simply because Im old, and continuing medical education with changing technology was stressful.
Im just enjoying myself, he said. I like to do some reading and play golf.
The addition of Dr. Choung and Dr. Abreu brings the total number of orthopaedic surgeons in the group to seven. Samaritan Medical Center spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle said Samaritan now will be able to expand an Orthopaedic Center of Excellence at the hospital.
The former fifth-floor medical/surgical area is being renovated to accommodate 18 private rooms for orthopaedic care.
This really allows us to bring our orthopaedic series to a whole new level to the community, she said.
That center is expected to open by the end of 2012.