November 18, 2013
On the map, the distance between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., is a short jaunt along Interstate 95—a mere 40 miles from city to city. But to patients who need neurosurgical care, that distance can be insurmountable.
“Their family and support network are in D.C.,” says neurosurgeon David Lin. “That’s why a lot of patients are really happy to find out that now we have Johns Hopkins physicians working at Suburban.”
In 2009, Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., joined the Johns Hopkins Medicine family. The addition gave many Johns Hopkins physicians privileges to practice at Suburban, including 12 neurosurgeons. Lin practices at Suburban full time. He was joined in August by another general neurosurgeon, Quoc-Anh Thai. For both physicians, being able to practice academic medicine in a community setting is a dream come true.
Lin, who completed medical school in Taiwan and a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins in 2005, went to Stanford University School of Medicine for his residency. There, he developed expertise in a variety of different neurosurgery techniques. Being able to provide these skills in sometimes complicated cases is one of the most rewarding parts of working at Suburban, he says.
“There are some unique cases in which we need to refer patients for treatment in Baltimore. But most of the time, we can take care of patients with practically any condition that requires neurosurgery right here at Suburban,” Lin says.
For Thai, landing at Suburban is a natural extension of a career that started at Johns Hopkins with his medical school and residency and then led him to practice in community settings in North Carolina and Texas. Having a Johns Hopkins location in Bethesda is the best of both worlds, he says.
“Patients can see a specialized physician who lives in the community and practices in the community without having to travel,” Thai says. “We bring the Johns Hopkins neurosurgery department to their backyard.”
The practice at Suburban also provides referring physicians with easier and quicker access to Johns Hopkins neurosurgeons. “We now have our faculty neurosurgeons from every specialty who work synergistically with our colleagues at Suburban,” says Henry Brem, director of Johns Hopkins’ Department of Neurosurgery. “We strongly feel that we need to reach out to our patients and be available where they live.”