March 30 is National Doctors’ Day. It’s a day set aside to recognize the unique contributions of physicians around the world. As one of the leading providers of healthcare services in the United States, HCA recognizes the extraordinary efforts of all of its doctors today and every day. Collectively, HCA doctors provide high-quality, compassionate care for millions of patients across the nation and in the United Kingdom. Members of our Physician Services Group consistently put patients first and make a positive impact in the communities they serve. Through their eyes, see their perspective on being a doctor on this Doctors’ Day. And don’t forget – thank a doctor!
Dr. George L. Holmes
Dr. Holmes is the founding physician of Family Practice Associates of Southern Hills. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine (Department of Family Practice) and serves as a preceptor at Vanderbilt University Medical School and Meharry Medical College. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Trustees of TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center and has served as chief of staff of TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center and president of the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians.
Q: What do you love most about what you do?
A: It is a joy to awaken each morning and look forward to working in an office dedicated to serving others. After 40 years of family medicine, I pray that God will allow me to continue to serve others. I hope I never consider what I do daily as “work” – you retire from “work” and I don’t see retirement in my vocabulary. I have served three and four generations of families in my practice, and it has been a joy to be a part of their lives.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring doctors?
A: Don’t feel you have missed the “Golden Age of Medicine.” The years ahead will be judged by the spirit and heart of the individual physician. Be guided by your judgment of what is best for your patient and enjoy the opportunity to that which has been presented to you. Spend time with your family, community, and church because a family physician should care for and serve others in all facets of his or her life.
Dr. Kimberly A. DeStefano
Dr. Kimberly A. DeStefano is the founder and medical director of maternal-fetal medicine for the Women’s Center of Texas. Dr. DeStefano’s practice is one of a few in the country accredited by the American Institute for Ultrasound Medicine for fetal echocardiography and it is the only practice in central Texas to offer fetal intervention. She is also a fellow at American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Q: What does it mean to you to be a strong, female physician leader?
A: With this type of specialty, there is nothing like being guided by a physician who is also a mom. Additionally, I wholeheartedly believe we need more female leaders in medicine. Women bring so much to medicine. We have an innate ability to build deep and dynamic relationships. I find in medicine sometimes the physician-patient relationship can become too sterile. I am dedicated to providing solid medical care while building sustainable relationships with my patients. And that is something I think women specifically bring to the field.
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges you had to overcome?
A: When I was first applying for this position, I was straight out of fellowship. So I had to be a little tenacious and fight to get in the door. It was great once I got there. We all realized the opportunity we had in front of us to build a really special practice.
Dr. Bruce R. Williams
Dr. Bruce R. Williams has more than 20 years of experience in the field of medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and a diplomat of the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians. In addition to Dr. Williams’ practice, he serves as a clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Q: What brought you to the family practice specialty?
A: I have always wanted to be a family physician. My parents tell me I began talking about it at the age of four when I got my tonsils removed. When I was in medical school I tried to keep an open mind, but I never lost my desire to be a family physician. I was attracted to being the “family doctor” – the physician who would take care of or coordinate all of the individual and family health care needs.
Q: What are three things young physicians should know about the field of medicine?
A: 1) It is all about the patient. It is important to remember the patient’s needs and concerns. As long as you keep the patient first, you will be successful.
2) Remember to take time for yourself and your family. It is very easy to become overextended and forget the things that are most important – your family and yourself.
3) Give back! You were given an incredible opportunity. Don’t forget your school, your preceptors, those that helped you get to where you are.
Dr. James T. Christmas
Dr. James T. Christmas is an obstetrician/gynecologist with Commonwealth Perinatal Associates in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to his patient care duties, Dr. Christmas has been active in both local facility leadership and national organizations such as serving as the National Medical Director of Women’s and Obstetric Services for HCA since 2014. Dr. Christmas completed his fellowship at the Southwestern Medical Center at the University of Texas and his residency at the Medical University South Carolina.
Q: What is your care philosophy?
A: The best way to compete in a service industry is to provide good service. The person who decides the value of the service is the recipient, not the provider. Medicine is the penultimate service industry. We need to evaluate the services that we provide from the patient’s perspective. Every patient is unique and should be evaluated and treated as such; but where evidence demonstrates a best practice, we have an obligation to offer every patient the best evidence-based treatment available.
Q: What brought you to the field of medicine?
A: I grew up on a farm and witnessed the birth of hundreds of animals. Seeing life at the very beginning, it is impossible not to be awed. Couple that with an interest in science and the desire to help others, medicine was a natural fit.
Dr. J. Fernando Triana
Dr. J. Fernando Triana was born in Bogota, Colombia. He is the first physician in his family. Dr. Triana received his medical degree from Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia and went on to complete his residency at HCA-affiliate Tulane University in Louisiana. Dr. Triana completed his fellowships at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. He serves as the Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer at the Cardiology Clinic of San Antonio.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you received as a young physician?
A: The best piece of advice was probably early in my undergraduate internship in my home country. The physicians who had been doing this for a long time frequently reminded me that every human being we touched had his or her own universe and I was privileged to enter into that universe. They said, with my intervention, I could change that individual’s universe, and for that individual, it’s their whole system. The modification I was about to make could have a tremendous effect on that individual and, as a physician, we should reflect on that.
Q: What is your care philosophy?
A: I want to evaluate my patients and make them a part of a continuum of care. As a physician and as someone who looks at the well-being of the individuals who come to see me, it is important to make sure they are part of a continuum of care, rather than an episode of care. The continuum of care is defined by the assessment, evaluation and follow-up of individuals, independently of whether they are affected acutely or chronically by a process.