Abraham Buckley, DO, likes spending time with his patients. In his position as a hospitalist at Rome Memorial Hospital, Dr. Buckley takes his time to listen and address the needs and concerns of the patients he sees in the hospital. It is an opportunity afforded to him by the very nature of what a hospitalist does.
A hospitalist is a physician who cares only for patients while they are in the hospital, and coordinates their care with their personal physician and specialists. Rome Memorial Hospital’s hospitalist program was recently expanded to provide on-site care around-the-clock. Being available 24/7 means hospitalists are able to recognize and react quickly to any sudden changes in their patients’ conditions.
"I am interested in what is happening with them right now," Dr. Buckley explained. "If there is something new going on, I want to know about it." Spending his working hours only at the hospital also means that he can offer continuity of care from admission to discharge.
Dr. Buckley said that there are times when a hospitalized patient may not think of everything to tell their doctor if they feel rushed or they may think that their doctor already knows everything about them. But the hospitalist assures patients that it is very important to take their time and tell him everything.
"I like to be able to spend more time with each patient than would be allowed if I had scheduled office hours too," Dr. Buckley said. "Hospitalized patients have a lot more issues than can be covered in a 15 minute appointment. The luxury of being able to take more time to talk to them and listen to their concerns, allows me a better understanding of their current condition."
For primary care physicians, having someone coordinate their patients’ care while they are hospitalized allows them more time to focus on the patients they see daily in their offices.
When patients are admitted to the hospital, the hospitalist will review their medical records and may contact their primary care physician to discuss their condition. During the course of their hospitalization, the hospitalist and primary care physician may talk further regarding treatment, and at discharge, the hospitalist will communicate with their primary care physician to discuss any further treatment needs, help arrange follow-up care, and prescribe the necessary medications. The patients’ primary care physician will have access to all their records following their stay.
Another aspect of being a hospitalist that appeals to Dr. Buckley is the diversity of health issues he sees and treats. Trained in osteopathic medicine with certification in family practice and additional residency training in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, Dr. Buckley is qualified to address the range of medical problems seen in the hospital.
Dr. Buckley obtained his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, Calif. He completed his rotating internship, family practice residency and fellowship at Peninsula Hospital Center, Far Rockaway.
Rome Memorial Hospital selected TeamHealth to manage and staff its hospital medicine program. TeamHealth is a physician-led, patient-focused organization with more than 30 years of experience caring for patients. Dr. Buckley joins Rome Memorial Hospital’s other hospitalists, Dr. Hashim Mapara and Dr. Amogechukwu Okonkwo.