By: Kristy Ann Pike, www.thespectrum.com
This Friday marks National Doctors' Day. Why March 30?
"I think it's telling that the day that was chosen for Doctors' Day was the one when patients were asleep," quipped Dr. Kim Rowland, medical director at Valley View Medical Center.
Rowland is referring to March 30, 1842, when Dr. Crawford W. Long, a young country doctor practicing in Georgia, was the first to administer ether anesthesia to a patient before surgery. March 30 now celebrates not only Long's development of "painless surgery" but also the efforts of doctors today to continually improve patient care and outcomes.
"You can see that in Cedar City," Rowland said. "Our primary care, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, oncology, and ear/nose/throat physicians are pretty amazing in their breadth of knowledge and scope of care. When I look at what specialties are available locally now versus what was here 15 years ago when I started in Cedar City, it's pretty impressive."
Rowland points to a couple of examples.
Cardiology is one specialty that is relatively new to Cedar City.
"We are fortunate to have Dr. Aarush Manchanda here," Rowland said. "Not only is he a great cardiologist, he brings very specific expertise in imaging and cardiology that is typically available only in very large medical centers. That means that procedures and studies are available here, and makes it so that patients don't have to travel as far for advanced care."
Nephrology is another of the newer specialties.
"Having Dr. Marcellus Saka Assiago here not only helps our dialysis patients on a day-to-day basis, it means that when they need to be hospitalized for something unrelated to kidney disease they can stay at Valley View and have dialysis available in the hospital," Rowland said. "Before Dr. Assiago was here, we would have to send those patients to Dixie Regional."
While the Emergency Department at Valley View is not new, "The young doctors we have coming in from residency have training in new technologies like bedside ultrasound," said Rowland, himself an Emergency Department physician. "That means that when a patient comes into the Emergency Department with a blunt-force trauma, or if they need an IV that is difficult to access, we have personnel who know how to take care of that at the bedside. That is a great benefit to our patients."
Physicians with specialized experience bring more than skills, Rowland said.
"As they share their knowledge base with other physicians on the medical staff it makes all of us better," he said.
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