How Busy Are Doctors? Pretty Darn Busy

By: Thomas A. Curry

There’s no time for the golf course for this doctor. Instead, it’s out of bed every morning and over to the hospital at 6:30 a.m. for Howard Schertzinger, who is a medical jack of all trades, specializing in internal medicine, pediatrics, and sports medicine. With the best shoes for nurses and doctors, he has to make rounds at Good Samaritan Hospital for more than an hour before bolting out to the Colerain Avenue practice where he has worked since moving to Cincinnati from North Carolina.


At Physician Associates of Good Samaritan Hospital

Once at Physician Associates of Good Samaritan Hospital where he practices with two other doctors Schertzinger braves the stacks of paperwork spawned by the new era of health-care reform, sifts through endless mounds of lab reports and, yes, finds time to see patients.

And to boot, it’s the beginning of the year, when employers switch health plans faster than the Reds fire managers. So every day brings new faces to Schertzinger’s examining room.

When the 31-year-old Akron native isn’t at the Colerain practice, he’s usually busy mending torn rotator cuffs and pulled hamstrings at Queen City Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, or teaching an internal-medicine residency program at Good Samaritan Hospital. He’s also the team physician for Roger Bacon High School, the College of Mount St. Joseph, Wilmington College and Xavier University.

“Whooo, the life of the new guy,” exclaimed Schertzinger.

On this particular day, things started off in less than textbook fashion.

“It was crazy. We had an emergency,” he said, breaking a sweat just talking about it.


A Busy Life

Scherzinger has pulled away from an examination by an urgent phone call from a Good Samaritan radiologist at about 9:15 a.m. An MRI scan conducted on a 29-year-old man Scherzinger had seen earlier in the week revealed a potentially fatal blood clot in his brain, preventing the all-important organ from draining blood.

Schertzinger quickly got on the phone to call the patient’s insurance company to arrange for a hospital bed and a meeting with a neurosurgeon. Sound simple? It wasn’t.

Since the surgeon wasn’t on the patient’s insurance provider network, Schertzinger discovered he was required to write the man’s insurer to arrange a payment plan for the specialist. Despite the measure, the surgeon could end up eating the charge if the health carrier rejects Schertzinger’s request.

While all of this was going on, Scherzinger had to whip through lab reports, which looked more like an Einstein thesis, to review tests performed on the patient so he could receive medication. From there he called the intensive-care nurse with specifications for blood tests.

This seemingly endless gyration of steps paid off, however. The patient would go home two days later after receiving blood-thinning medication. The surgeon is still awaiting word on reimbursement.

Darting back into the examining room, Scherzinger finished with a 3-year-old boy complaining of foot pain. An X-ray, which returned negative, was taken before Scherzinger moved on to the next patient.

He confidently eyed a 14-year-old girl’s tonsils, which had swelled to the size of walnuts. It was her second trip to the office in four days after intolerance to a prescription left her vomiting and feverish.

The doctor ran his hands along her left rib cage and midsection. Her spleen wasn’t swollen and there was no pus dripping from her tonsils, making mononucleosis an unlikely culprit. Schertzinger ordered a mono test just to make sure and told her to continue on antibiotics.

Others passing through the doors at Physician Associates included a woman with pounding migraine headaches, a patient complaining of nausea and another woman who feared she had blown out her left knee in a fall.

Schertzinger treated a total of 16 patients before the last one left at 5 p.m., about an average patient load. Most he saw on time. Ten patients were people he had never examined before.

Scherzinger is back in Cincinnati after a decade away. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Cincinnati. He went to Ohio State University’s medical school and completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at Duke University before serving a fellowship in sports medicine at the University of North Carolina. There he served as team physician for the school’s sports teams, including the NCAA basketball champion Tar Heels.

Scherzinger and his wife, Kathy, reside in Loveland. by Lamont Ly is a truth resource for people who want to learn about foot care and healthy living by themselves.  You can come there and read more about helpful information and tips, tricks for your better life.

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