Magazine article Medical Economics

Nicholas J. Paslidis, MD: Treating His Far-Flung Patients like Family

Magazine article Medical Economics

Nicholas J. Paslidis, MD: Treating His Far-Flung Patients like Family

Article excerpt

As a student, Nicholas J. Paslidis dreamed of a brilliant career in academic medicine.

Following medical school in the US, the Greek native completed a PhD in molecular biology before beginning an internal medicine residency at the University of Texas at Houston. In 1995, he moved to Boston with his wife and two daughters for a fellowship in gastroenterology at Harvard Medical School.

But six months along, Paslidis experienced a change of heart. "Looking around at the underserved, I thought the biggest need wasn't for more research and more papers, but for more direct patient care," he says today.

Paslidis and his family moved to Little Rock, AR, where his wife had grown up. He signed up with White River Rural Health Centers, a network of 12 primary care clinics serving mostly older and indigent patients. Suddenly the world of test tubes and lecture halls seemed very remote.

The pace of his practice for the last five years has been frenetic. On an especially busy Thursday recently Paslidis rose at 4:30 am to begin his workday

From Little Rock, he drove the 62 miles northeast to the city of Searcy. After completing his morning rounds at one hospital, he moved across town to another. There he checked on several other patients and performed two endoscopic procedures. From Searcy he made the short drive to the clinic at Kensett, where he saw patients until noon. A lunch on the fly brought him 37 miles south to the Des Arc Nursing Home. While in town, he also made two house calls before heading farther south to the clinic in Hazen, approximately 20 miles away. …

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