By Peter Armanious, TeamHealth Anesthesiologist, NewYork Presbyterian Queens
Earlier this year, we spotlighted Dr. Peter Armanious for Physician Anesthesiologist Week. Now, having passed his boards and started a new phase in his anesthesia career, he’s sharing more of his story and the ways his team has worked through difficult times.
My Evolving Role on the COVID-19 Front Lines
Originally, my role as an anesthesiologist was providing care for elective or emergent surgeries. This quickly changed as the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading rapidly in New York City. Our role as anesthesiologists, as airway experts, became primarily to intubate COVID-19 patients as necessary. We put our patients’ lives and safety first, at the expense of our own exposure. Being a young, healthy anesthesiologist, I tried to avoid having my senior colleagues and CRNAs performing intubations to minimize their risk. While shifting out focus to intubation, we also had to reassure patients who were alone in the hospital without family (due to restrictions) that we would be providing them with the best care we could.
I had compassion for patients. I thought: if this was my family member alone and this were potentially the last interaction they had, what can I do to make it better for them?” – Dr. Peter Armanious
At my facility, we were blessed to have a vast supply of PPE including gowns, N95 masks and protective eyewear from TeamHealth and NewYork Presbyterian Queens (NYPQ). Through this experience, we all learned to come together, take a step back, slow down, enjoy life, be grateful for health and cherish our time with our loved ones. It built an unshakeable bond in our department. As our operating rooms began to open and return to a degree of normalcy, we started going back to doing our elective surgeries again and no longer needed intubation teams. In the midst of all this, I was developing my career and awaiting my oral board results.
Joining TeamHealth and NYPQ
As I was finishing my anesthesia residency and started applying for jobs, I looked at many different locations and groups. I spoke with the team members at NYPQ, and they were genuinely happy. The camaraderie between the surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses was great and the respect was mutual. Many anesthesiologists at this location have worked here their entire careers, which resonated with me. I decided to join TeamHealth at NYPQ.
I remember going to work thinking this is why I became a doctor, to help others. This was the ultimate opportunity that I was provided to help others.” – Dr. Peter Armanious
The clinicians in this group are what make it a great place to work. We always have each other’s backs. When help is needed, help arrives immediately – judgement-free. We are all like pieces of a puzzle that fit together perfectly and complement each other. Our leadership has built a solid foundation and continue to lead the team by example. They will be there to support you throughout your career – from the daily assignments to furthering your career development.
Advancing My Anesthesia Career
On March 9, 2021, I received my oral board exam results. Once I received the email stating results were released, I immediately logged on to view my results and saw the word “pass” with a green check. I was elated! It felt as if a huge pressure was released off of my shoulders.
I remember the first thing I said was, “Thank you, God.” My next thought? “Thank you baba for telling God – You have to pass my boy.” I could already see how happy my father was for me and proud of the man he made me into. I remember coworkers telling me stories about my father. When he was asked about how I would do in medical school, he told them, “I’m not worried about Peter at all, I know he will succeed at whatever he puts his mind to.”
Overall, I am very happy and thankful for all the blessings and opportunities I have been presented with thus far, and I’m excited for all those to come in the near future!” – Dr. Peter Armanious
Within days of passing my oral boards examination and becoming a board-certified anesthesiologist, I thought, “What’s next?” I have always been intrigued by business and pondered pursuing a master’s in business administration. So, I decided to apply to a few programs and was accepted into the prestigious Cornell Executive MBA and MS in healthcare program. I am excited about this new chapter in my career development.
I love being an anesthesiologist. It combines what I love most – patient care, pharmacology, physiology and performing procedures. The trust gained from a patient is immeasurable. While people seek out a surgeon they prefer, we are appointed to them on the day of their surgery. We truly are the humble heroes in the operating room. I take pleasure in providing that care, comfort and smile to patients in their most stressful times.
In our program, there is a real sense of importance around enhancing patient experiences and outcomes. Quality patient care is of utmost importance to TeamHealth’s mission. Our department works closely with the hospital’s surgical departments to develop enhanced recovery protocols for our patients, and we will continue working collaboratively to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.