by Joseph England, MD
After completing my residency I wanted to practice in a small town, but I've discovered that Jamestown is different from most. Because we are on an island, people come here rather than the emergency room. We've had people walk in with gastrointestinal bleeding, heart attacks, amputated fingers and gunshot wounds. In other places, people would call an ambulance but because people know we're here they drive up to our front door.
The majority of mishaps and maladies that happen to people are taken care of at a community hospital level and to have Newport Hospital this close is a real benefit. It would be risky to have heart attack victims transported to a facility an hour away. Most general surgeries are common surgeries such as gall bladder removal. In a community hospital setting, where people are comfortable and their relatives are nearby, it's much nicer for them. If they have something unusual and they need specialized care, we make the arrangements for them to go to Providence.
For everyday medical events, community hospitals are more efficient. When you have a small hospital and you want something done and you want it done now, you just walk down to the radiologist and say, "Jeff, I need this right away," and he'll say, "Okay, bring her down."
You make rounds in the morning and you bump into all the people who are consulting with you because in a small, community hospital you see the same doctors every day. You see the surgeon, the urologist, the orthopedist and you talk about the patients, so communication about our patients is great.
We're glad to be able to call up one of the teaching hospitals and say, "We have a real problem here and we need a transfer." That's the way the system should work: they're available for us but on the other hand, the tertiary hospitals are so busy they can't be handling every gall bladder case and every kidney infection.
In a small, island practice, you have to be able to take care of people of all ages, to be ready for acute illness and injury as well as provide preventive care and care for chronic conditions. Our relationship with our community hospital and our tertiary hospitals is a partnership that works, and works well.
For an appointment, call 401-423-2616.