In a wave of recruitment, Trinity Health has welcomed several new health care providers to the area. Dr. Ryan Hedgepeth, urologist, is one of the new recruits. Hedgepeth joined Trinity's staff as a urologist and director of Trinity's advanced robotic surgery program.
He began doing surgeries at Trinity Health within the past couple of weeks.
"I came to Trinity because I saw that Trinity is undergoing a change in attitudes and standards of care, and I wanted to be a part of that and have a leadership role in the community and at the hospital delivering great care," Hedgepeth said.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN •
Dr. Ryan Hedgepeth poses for a photo in downtown Minot Wednesday. Hedgepeth is a urologist for Trinity Health and director of Trinity’s advanced robotic surgery program who began performing procedures at Trinity in July.
Hedgepeth began his journey in medicine receiving a medical degree at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland. He went on to complete his urology residency at the Cleveland Clinic, and later completed fellowships in Urologic Cancer Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery from the University of Michigan.
Hedgepeth came to his decision to enter medicine after pursuing other fields, namely engineering and psychology.
"At first, I started off in engineering, but after doing that for three semesters, I realized I hadn't made the people connections that I wanted to," he said.
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" Then, as a psychology major in college, I thought that people are fascinating in general. Near the end of college, I transitioned from that thought of aren't people fascinating to how can I help them. So I studied to get the prerequisites for medical school," he said.
It was in medical school that he became interested in his specialty, urology. Hedgepeth said he chose to research urology subjects because he knew many family members who suffered from kidney stones. As he worked with urologist Martin Resnick for a research project, he realized he'd found what he liked best. "It was during that process that he invited me to see a surgery. I saw a partial nephrectomy, and I was sold on the specialty," Hedgepeth said.
"I am a visual spatial thinker, so surgery offers me a way to think and solve problems in three dimensions. Another thing that I love about urology is the immediate connection you have with patients, though it's still a surgical specialty that requires a high level of skill," he added.
Through his studies, Hedgepeth trained in three different types of surgery open surgery, laprascopic surgery and robotic surgery. He has performed more than 200 robotic surgical procedures using the advanced da Vinci Si.
"Surgical training can be very frustrating. Trying to become accomplished in a new technology is frustrating, when a new thing comes along and you have to retrain yourself because it's a little different," Hedgepeth said.
"People can become dogmatic about what's right or what's not right, but it should be about evaluating what's best for the patients. What's best for the patients isn't always the latest and greatest technology," he said.
One of Hedgepeth's goals has become to use robotic surgery only when it will prove to be more beneficial for the patient than other interventions.
"I want to apply the technology responsibly. I have to focus on not letting my enthusiasm for the technology sway what is right for patients. It is a great technology that delivers a high standard of care, but it's not needed for everyone," he said.
In addition to his surgical interests, Hedgepeth has studied patient outcomes research, a type of research that uses statistics to predict which patients will do well.
"It's important that we can identify the factors that give patients better outcomes. Because of my interest in this type of research, I have become very fastidious about keeping good records and studying how my patients do after a procedure. If you don't study what you're doing, you don't know how your quality is," Hedgepeth said.
Hedgepeth believes that remaining patient-centered is important for the future of healthcare.
"It's important to stay patient-centered, so we're treating the right patient with the right procedure at the right time," he said.