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A Clinician’s Perspective: Work and Life in Saginaw, Michigan

We recently spoke with Dr. Tam Nguyen, TeamHealth Assistant Facility Medical Director for the anesthesiology department at Covenant Medical Center’s Harrison campus about working with TeamHealth and the community where she lives and serves in Saginaw, Michigan.

Tell us about the facility where you work?

Dr. Nguyen:  Covenant Medical Center is a merger of two hospitals more than 20 years ago. These two hospitals, St Luke’s and Saginaw General have become the Harrison and Cooper campuses respectively of Covenant Medical Center. I work for the Harrison campus. At Harrison, there is a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), pediatric, obstetric (OB) and intensive care unit (ICU). At Cooper, there is cardiac, neurosurgery, orthopedics, level 2 trauma center.

What do you enjoy most about your position as an Assistant Facility Medical Director at TeamHealth?

Dr. Nguyen:  I love providing care for patients of all ages but especially expecting mothers and pediatric patients as this is my subspecialty. I especially enjoy the continuation of care where I get to provide for mothers during labor and delivery, and then transition to providing care to the neonate all within a few hours. For example, when the fetus is diagnosed with a congenital abdominal malformation intrauterine, collaboration and communication with the fetal-maternal medicine specialist, obstetrician, neonatologist and pediatric surgeon is required to develop a smooth plan of care and to account for a seamless transition of care.

Tell us about the community you serve? What do you love most about it?

Dr. Nguyen:  The hospital serves a very large geographic area and as a result, the patient population can vary greatly. Saginaw and the immediate surroundings are not generally considered medically underserved. Because the hospital has the only level three NICU in the entire mid-Michigan region, we run a very busy, high-risk obstetric and regional NICU center-serving newborns from rural communities.

Tell us about your training and educational background.

Dr. Nguyen:  I completed my undergraduate study in Toronto, Ontario Canada, and medical school at Ross University in Dominica. I completed my anesthesiology residency at Wayne State University and pediatric anesthesiology fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Tell us about your team at Covenant Medical Center in Harrison. What’s the team culture or dynamic?

Dr. Nguyen:  The anesthesia team at Harrison is composed of five anesthesiologists. We have a close-knit group that is flexible and collegial. We are always willing to help each other out and accommodate each other concerning time management and social schedules. Currently, four out of our five anesthesiologists are female. We have a range of different experiences and skillsets that we enjoy sharing with each other. We supervise Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). Relations and interactions are friendly and respectful and overall we all enjoy working together to provide the best care for each patient.

What kinds of opportunities can a physician on your team expect at Covenant Medical Center and TeamHealth?

Dr. Nguyen:  There are always opportunities for leadership involvement. I started my first job as an anesthesiologist four years ago as the youngest anesthesiologist at Covenant Medical Center. After two years, I joined the Pediatric University of Michigan Peer Review and Perinatal Operations committee at the hospital level. I started dipping my toes into leadership by volunteering to make the schedule for the Harrison campus. I was promoted to Assistant Facility Medical Director soon after to lead the anesthesia team at Harrison campus and act as a liaison between our anesthesiologists and TeamHealth. Based on my own career trajectory, I would say there are many opportunities for growth and career development both at Covenant Medical Center and TeamHealth.

When you aren’t practicing at Covenant Medical Center in Harrison, what’s your favorite place or activity in and around Saginaw?

Dr. Nguyen:  I enjoy walking my kids around Ojibway Park, which is an island park relatively close to the hospital. I also enjoy attending the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra and seeing the local minor hockey team Saginaw Spirit play. Saginaw is centrally located within Michigan and so exploring all the state has to offer is relatively easy. In particular, I love exploring Northern Michigan, especially seeing the changing colors in the fall and going wine tasting at the region’s many wineries. As for Saginaw itself, I especially enjoy Saginaw’s Old Town District, which has a distinctly urban feel compared to the rest of the city. I also enjoy exploring the various restaurants and attractions in the tri-city area of Saginaw, Bay City and Midland.  For a day off, Detroit and its operas, symphonies, concert venues, sports teams, world-class restaurants and museums are only an hour and a half away. On long weekends, traveling to Chicago or Toronto is an easy four to five-hour drive.

Become a part of Dr. Nguyen’s team at Covenant Medical Center! We’re seeking an Anesthesiologist to join this outstanding care team in Saginaw.

Interested in providing the highest quality patient care? Explore nationwide opportunities in Anesthesiology. Is Michigan not the right fit? TeamHealth has opportunities available nationwide!