As the newly appointed chief medical officer at Portneuf Medical Center, this is my first chance to celebrate all of the physicians who give of themselves to improve health across our region. It is an honor to serve them in my new role. Doctors Day is celebrated on March 30th to recognize the contributions of doctors to their communities. You can impress your friends at parties by telling them that March 30th was chosen as the date of Doctors Day because it marks the first time general anesthesia was used in surgery; this is a fact not lost on me, as an anesthesiologist.
When I first moved to Pocatello eleven years ago to go into practice, I was told that if I didn’t like the weather, all I had to do was wait ten minutes and it would change. That same pace of change seems to be embedded in our country’s system of healthcare. Between payment reform, industry consolidation and policy changes, it is not an easy system to navigate for providers, let alone patients.
Despite all of the change, what I appreciate most about my fellow medical colleagues in our community is that they are universally focused on providing compassionate and thorough patient care. Serving the community and making decisions that serve patients’ best interests is what drives our medical community.
This concern for each and every patient that comes through any of Portneuf’s doors stretches well beyond the physicians. Every nurse, medical assistant, radiology tech, nutritionist, social worker, housekeeper, and administrator I have come across has patient care as a top priority. In addition to practicing medicine, I have spent the last eleven years at Portneuf involved in numerous patient care committees. Whether serving on the hospital board of trustees, on the medical staff credentials committee or serving as the medical staff president, every administrative meeting comes back to the guiding principle of world-class patient care.
Feel free to thank any of my fellow physicians on Doctors Day this March 30th. But ultimately it the physicians who will end up thanking you for trusting your health to them.
Dan Snell, MD, MPH is the newly appointed chief medical officer of Portneuf Medical Center. Dr. Snell has a medical degree and Masters in Public Health from the University of Utah, completed his anesthesia residency at the University of Arizona and is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Snell and his wife, Melissa, have three children and reside in Pocatello.