Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Featured Doctor: Ronald Minter

Ronald Minter, MD
Ronald Minter, MD

Ronald Minter, MD, freely admits that he isn't a morning person. But he has a solution for getting ready for 7:00 am calls.

"All you have to do on your way in is to remember that there's a patient you need to take care of in a few minutes and you need to be on," he said. "That makes for a good morning. It wakes you up and focuses you."

As interim chief of anesthesiology and medical director of perioperative services at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), Dr. Minter splits his time between clinical work and perioperative management. "On the days that I don't have a lot of meetings scheduled, I'll often be in the OR running the schedule, being the anesthesia charge person, supervising Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) or anesthesia residents," he said.

Dr. Minter attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin and completed his residency at SUNY Stonybrook. He came to Massachusetts in 1995 to serve as the chief of pediatric anesthesia at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary. In 1999, he started at CHA.

Dr. Minter became interested in anesthesia while training to become a surgeon. "As a third-year med student, I was doing a surgical rotation, and after four hours of holding a retractor and not really learning anything, I noticed that on the other side of the screen, the anesthesiologists were talking about anesthesiology, and they were smiling and enjoying it," he said.

"I started asking them some questions about what they're doing and how they liked being an anesthesiologist. So while doing surgery, I developed an interest in anesthesia."

Dr. Minter's projects for CHA have included coordinating the installation of Metavision, a digital recordkeeping system; implementing a modified version of the World Health Organization checklist; and installing stop clocks outside the operating rooms to improve turnover time.

While he spends most of his time at CHA, he works a few days a month on Mass General's main campus to work on Metavision and to keep up his pediatric anesthesia skills.

"I also get to see some old friends," he said. Becoming interim chief of anesthesia has been a "life-changing event," he said.

"It's brought a whole bunch of new challenges, particularly in the administrative side. You begin to understand the challenges they're facing about trying to meet budgets and providing the substructure, the support system to provide the best care possible," he said.

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