While serving a Medical Clerkship in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of The National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, I found myself struggling with a difficult clinical situation concerning a patient. Seeking a more experienced perspective, I shared my dilemma with the ICU attending and asked what he thought I should do — he told me, with a knowing smile, to do what was right. This interaction continues to linger in my memory as new and varied clinical situations present themselves within my practice.
After graduating from The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1985, I went on to complete an Internal Medicine Residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Residency is often the first time young doctors gain hands-on exposure to not only the intricacies of the diagnostic process, but the effective provision of care. Einstein proved to be one of the most formative experiences of my career; it was there that I established long-lasting professional relationships, learned more about my own ethics and values, and, most importantly, met my wife, Pat. She had been working at Einstein as a Critical Care Nurse for three years before we met in the ICU. I found her unwavering tenacity and patient advocacy intriguing, both personally and professionally; within three years, we married. Ultimately, the high ratings our patients afford our practice on Healthgrades would never have been able to be attained without her clinical background, administrative support, and attention to detail.
Upon completing my residency, I prepared to serve a four year US Navy Active Duty commitment through the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program. The first year of my military service brought us to The Submarine Base & Naval Hospital in Groton, CT. I served as a General Internist while Pat took a job as a visiting nurse. Afterward, naval needs brought us overseas to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Rota, Spain. Over the remaining three years of my tour, I became Board Certified in Internal Medicine, received a promotion, and was placed in charge of the hospital's Special Care Unit. I went on to be appointed to the Southern Europe U.S. Navy Medical Response Team and served as an instructor for Advanced Cardiac Life Support. My exemplary service resulted in a letter of commendation from the Commanding Officer of the hospital upon conclusion of the tour. Perhaps the most thrilling aspect of our time in Spain was the birth of our daughter, Carolyne, who can occasionally be spotted at the office visiting Mom and Dad when she's in town.
Upon resolution of the Persian Gulf War, I resigned my commission in favor of pursuit of a civilian career. I began this endeavor with a two year Rheumatology Fellowship at The University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 1992. Once Board Certified in Rheumatology, Pat and I relocated back to New Jersey to raise Carolyne closer to her extended family. I worked with Mainland Internal Medicine Associates for many years before committing to the enterprise of opening a private practice, only choosing to do so after encouragement from my wife and fellow physicians. Our goal was to concentrate solely on the delivery of high quality subspecialty care in Rheumatology. In 1996, Pat and I hung up our shingle in Somers Point, NJ. Since then, the neighborhood has changed, but our mission has not. My wife and I continue to do our best to provide efficient and effective diagnostic precision and patient-centered care.