We recently spoke with Dr. Paul Silka, medical director of emergency medicine at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, about working with TeamHealth and the community he lives in and serves.
Tell us about the facility where you work?
Dr. Silka: Regional Medical Center of San Jose is in east San Jose. It is in an underserved community that is significantly diverse as well. We’re a Level II Trauma Center with a comprehensive stroke center and a STEMI-receiving facility. We see about 250 patients a day with a diverse set of pathology and acuity. The admission rate is somewhere between 13 and 15 percent. With the help of our APCs, the low-acuity patients typically receive rapid service, while the physicians are focusing on the high-acuity patients who require procedures, interventions and resuscitations. APCs help with our higher acuity patients as well.
What do you enjoy most about your position as medical director of emergency medicine at TeamHealth?
Dr. Silka: I’m new to TeamHealth, and Regional Medical Center is a new contract for TeamHealth. I was recruited to help kick-off this startup, and it has been quite an adventure. We were able to pull on a lot of TeamHealth resources, including physicians from other sites or physicians who had worked with the company previously and that helped us get up and running. They have been exceedingly professional, committed, and exceeded expectations with their ability to perform really well under significant pressure as we started up this new emergency medicine group here. Dr. Scott Scherr, who is our regional medical director, has absolutely been supporting not only me as a spirit guide but rolling up his sleeves and helping us move this practice forward with his clinical presence.
Tell us about the community you serve? What do you love most about it?
Dr. Silka: The community we serve is exceedingly diverse and underserved. With that, the ability to give the service we do to the members of this community is honestly a privilege. They are gracious, graceful, and appreciative. It has been very rewarding and a shot of invigoration for me professionally. After 30 years of practice, to be able to jump back into a community like this, with the acuity and the diversity, is fantastic.
Tell us about your team at the Regional Medical Center of San Jose. What’s the team culture or dynamic?
Dr. Silka: The culture of the group is to be determined because we’re still forming and growing, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s exciting to be a part of a team of committed physicians that are striving for excellence. I will say the medical staff that we work and consult with are definitely committed to serving the community.
What kinds of opportunities can a physician on your team expect at Regional Medical Center of San Jose?
Dr. Silka: The emergency physician who comes here is going to get a full-spectrum emergency practice. Most of us trained in residency to do exactly this kind of practice: procedures, the gamut of pathology, medical, traumatic, surgical, and that is all here. This is a great place for physicians who are looking to get back into this kind of setting. For the newly graduated residents, this the spot where you want to go to solidify your skills. This setting is a huge opportunity for new graduates right now. We are also actually searching for an associate medical director.
When you aren’t practicing at Regional Medical Center of San Jose what’s your favorite place or activity in the area?
Dr. Silka: I’m new to the area, but San Jose is a tech hub and the center of Silicon Valley. It’s a very vibrant city with a lot of activity and diversity. The weather is fantastic and perfect for hiking, disc golf, fishing and boating in one of their many parks. San Jose is less than a two-hour drive from San Francisco, and all the shops, culture and nightlife that comes with it. If you like the beach you’re less than an hour away from some of the most beautiful beaches and areas on the West Coast, like Half Moon Bay and Monterey. If you’re a road tripper, you’re also very close to the historic Big Sur on the Pacific Coast Highway where you can take a day trip up the coast. San Jose is also next to the heart of California’s wine country, being only two or three hours from Napa Valley. My family and I moved from Southern California to come up here, and it’s really been fulfilling, and we’ve been really pleased with the area and lifestyle.