Physician Spotlight –
Home State: North Carolina
Number of Years Practicing Locum Tenens: First Year
What clients have to say about Dr. Ray:
Dr. Ray has been a great addition to our locum tenens staff. He has worked at two of our facilities and integrates well at both even though the culture at each is quite different. His anesthesia skills are excellent and is so compliant with paperwork! Really great to work with!
Getting to know Dr. Ray:
Q: Why did you first pursue locum tenens work?
A: Burn Out. I left a busy, full-time hospital location after 22 years. I saw an opportunity to leave the daily grind. After some time, I realized that I missed some aspects of the practice of anesthesiology and I started to look around to see what options were available. I explained my situation to various recruiters and I found that MD Staff Pointe had some options that were ideal for me. As I mentioned to them “There are youngsters that can take the all-night call. I’m too old now for busy call.” Working locums allows me to evaluate different hospitals and practices to see if we’re a good match. When I first got out of the Army in 1993, I started in a practice I did not enjoy, but it was close to home. I was stuck because of contractual requirements. I got the opportunity to move to North Carolina to join people I knew from the Army and spent 22 years with them. I got to work with some great people and learned a lot. But most importantly, I learned that different hospitals and communities have personalities of their own, and that’s where locums work is so great. You can tap into those areas and see if it is a good fit for yourself.
Q: Describe the most unique experience you’ve had.
A: By far the most unique assignment I’ve ever had was after my internship when I was in the Army. I was assigned to HHB 56th Field Artillery in Schwaebisch Gmuend, Germany. Not only did I get to live in another country, but I was assigned as the Command Medical Officer to the Army’s Nuclear Missile Command during the time of the signing of the INF Nuclear Missile Treaty under President Reagan. I got to see East Berlin before the Wall came down, eat real Borscht in a real Russian restaurant in East Berlin, go through Checkpoint Charlie, see Berlin, and all the other amazing sights, sounds, and the rest Germany had to offer. And I got to ski in the Alps. Nothing even comes close to that experience!
Q: Describe what medical advancements you would like to see in the next 5 years (or anything else relevant to your specialty).
A: I can’t imagine because there have been so many advancements over my short 35-year career. Things we take for granted today like pulse oximetry and EtCO2 monitoring did not exist when I started, and are now standard usage and have revolutionized care. But the past several years have shown the value of Ultrasound inpatient care. What started as a big bulky box can now be held in your hand on your phone. But more importantly, it has allowed the anesthesiologist to “see” the tip of their needle. Surgeons have always said there is nothing worse than a blind surgeon, but anesthesiologists always were blind, we always “felt” our way to needle placement. And there were many things I would not do because I felt that they were too dangerous. Now Ultrasound allows precise needle placement to allow avoidance of other structures.
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