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A Clinician’s Perspective: Living and Working in Winter Haven, Florida

We recently spoke with Dr. Khalid Siddiqui, director of emergency medicine at Winter Haven Hospital, about working with TeamHealth, and about the community he lives in and serves.

Tell me a little bit about the facility where you work.

Dr. Siddiqui:  Winter Haven Hospital is in Winter Haven, Florida, which is between Tampa and Orlando in Florida, so you cannot ask for a better location. You are in the middle of two big cities, roughly 45 minutes between each. Winter Haven Hospital is a 600-bed hospital. We have a large ER, which has 51 major treatment areas and 12 result-waiting areas. We have six fast-track beds, 12 dedicated psyche ER beds and 14 ED observation beds.

It’s a brand-new, state-of-the-art ER. We moved in into this facility in September of 2017. It is designed to keep patient experience along with clinicians’ and nurses’ privacy and experience in mind. It is designed around a concept called a runway model and it’s designed like a runway where you have a center core and then you have a row of rooms on both sides. Each room has an entrance from the core where physicians and nurses enter the room, and then there is an outside door where everyone else enters. This gives clinicians and nurses a private place to work and minimizes interruptions. The hospital has all kinds of tools resources to make life easy for ED physicians, as well.

What do you enjoy most about your position at TeamHealth?

Dr. Siddiqui:  What I enjoy most is TeamHealth’s ability to give me the freedom to do my job as I please as best for my clinicians. I enjoy making my clinicians’ life easy. I tell them my goal is to see them coming into and leaving each of their shifts smiling. I know they will be spending 10 or 11 hours in the emergency department dedicated to taking care of our patients. I want the environment they work in to be collegial, supportive and friendly.

Tell me about your relationship with TeamHealth. I understand it’s a long one. What brought you here and what continues to keep you here as your practice of choice?

Dr. Siddiqui:  I’ve been with TeamHealth since 1998. I started in upstate New York between 1998 and 2000. I moved to Orlando in 2000 have been in here since. TeamHealth been nothing but supportive and helped me to grow into the position I am currently in. I have always enjoyed working with our organization and the colleagues and friends I made over the years.

When I came down from New York to Orlando and interviewed with Dr. Steve Schwartz at Parrish Medical Center, I told him my goal was to be at a place where I don’t have to move my kids every two or three years. TeamHealth was at Parrish at that time for 20 years, and now they’ve been there for almost 40 years. I love the stability of the contracts and retention of the contracts, which is a huge thing for all of us who work in emergency medicine. Hospitals and companies change partners very quickly, and being with a company which has a track record for stability and client retention is huge for me, or for anyone who comes out and has a young family and wants to have roots. I think TeamHealth provides that.

Can you speak more about Winter Haven community that you serve? What do you love most about it I guess other than the closeness to Tampa and Orlando?

Dr. Siddiqui:  The Winter Haven community has the charm of the closeness to the big city, but also still has the charm of small-town living where everyone knows and cares about everyone. It is one of the most beautiful small towns. The Winter Haven area is surrounded by lakes and practically every house has a lake view or is on the lake. If you have an interest in living on water and enjoying water sports and fishing, it’s a great place to call home.

How do you feel TeamHealth has supported you in your leadership role?

Dr. Siddiqui:  TeamHealth has provided all the resources, training; back-office support to help me deliver what I think is the best for my team, my hospital, my patient, and my community. We are part of a big company under a very protective umbrella, but we still act and function as an independent, democratic group.

What kind of opportunities can an ER physician expect at your facility or at TeamHealth?

Dr. Siddiqui:  We are always mentoring clinicians and residents. TeamHealth tries to engage the clinician and see if there is any interest in clinical and administrative leadership roles. If we find that they are interested in becoming the assistant medical director or medical director, there are opportunities for mentoring and growth. TeamHealth provides multiple courses throughout the year to educate and train these clinicians to become part of their local leadership team.

When you aren’t practicing at Winter Haven, what are some of your favorite places and some activities around the Winter Haven, Tampa and Orlando area that you like to do?

Dr. Siddiqui:  When I’m not at work, I have many opportunities to keep myself entertained and busy. Orlando is the most visited town, city in the world. Last year, we had 70 million people visit Orlando because of Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. We also have beaches on both sides within an hour’s drive. You can go to the east coast and be on some of the most famous beaches on the Atlantic, Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach. You can go to the west toward the Gulf Coast and you are on Clearwater Beach within 40 minutes. You can play golf 12 months a year! I am always either at the beach, or playing golf, or at Disney with my kids.

Is there anything else about TeamHealth you would like to share?

Dr. Siddiqui:  I would add is the founders and the senior leaders of TeamHealth have always cared for me in this company as their own and never felt like an outsider. When I initially joined and after 20-plus years with the company, I feel I have walked every step with my senior partners and founders. 

TeamHealth has opportunities in emergency medicine throughout the state of Florida! Join a team that supports you and recognizes your impact in providing excellent patient care.