Samaritan Medical Centers physician needs for 2014 stretch wide across the specialty spectrum.
From annual needs such as primary care physicians and psychologists, both of which are in shortage nationwide, to recruiting a neurosurgeon to expand the local neurosurgery practice and adding hospitalists to expand that program, Samaritan has identified a total of 27 physicians needed for 2014.
Anne Marie Walldroff, Samaritans director of physician recruitment, said the hospitals recruitment priority list is evaluated continuously to reflect any challenges, planned retirements or potential needs that arise. Samaritans physician development committee meets quarterly to update primary objectives.
One of the big successes of last year was bringing back neurosurgery, she said. Now our challenge in 2014 is to find that second neurosurgeon. Thats one of the high-priority objectives for 2014.
Last year, the hospital welcomed neurosurgeon Farook J. Kidwai. Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, which is affiliated with Neurosurgical Associates of Central New York, and Samaritan have collaborated to offer neurosurgical services through Neurological Associates of Northern New York. Samaritan invested about $1 million in neurosurgical equipment for its hospital, including microscopes and various instruments, neuro-navigation software and training.
Another top priority for this year, Mrs. Walldroff said, is recruiting up to three hospitalists.
One of the goals is to take that team of eight to a team of 10, she said. We need to make sure we maintain the stability of that program.
Samaritans hospitalist program began with four hospitalists physicians who care for hospitalized patients in 2003. Hospital spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle said the program provides coverage relief to a patients primary care physician from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. After a patient is admitted in those hours, the hospitalist will follow up with the patients provider.
Its kind of like a tuck-in service program, Ms. Kittle said. It minimizes those call responsibilities. (The program) has been nothing but success. It gives a doctor in the hospital 24/7. It gives you a physician right there to respond.
While the search for specialty physicians often goes nationwide, Samaritan also is able to recruit from within its own graduate medical education program for third- and fourth-year osteopathic medical students, interns and residents.
No one knows that better than chief resident Dr. Matthew D. Maynard, who will graduate from the program in June and join the emergency medicine group in July.
I came here to do my residency because Im from St. Lawrence County, said Dr. Maynard, a 2003 graduate of Edwards-Knox Central School, Russell. For me, staying here made sense. When I turned 18, I joined Russell Fire and Rescue, and thats where I got my start. I went to medical school in New York City, and I knew I didnt want to spend the rest of my career there; its too big.
Dr. Maynard said hed best describe his experience working 12 plus-hour shifts in Samaritans emergency department as controlled chaos.
You never know whats going to walk through the door, he said.
Meanwhile, other specialty physician needs at Samaritan include medical oncologists as the hospital looks to succession planning since two medical oncologists are approaching 30 years of service.
Dermatology also continues to be on the physician development committees radar, because the hospital has been searching for two dermatologists since Dr. Barbara T. Licznerski closed her practice in 2009.