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Dr. MacDougall’s Surgeon Story: “I Really Cannot See Myself in Another Profession”

Mar 16 2022

Meet Michael MacDougall, MD, FACS, a surgical specialist at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center!

I’ve been practicing medicine in the Richmond area for over 23 years,” Dr. MacDougall shares. “And for the last 11 years, I’ve been a part of the Bon Secours medical group. But I’ve worked at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center my entire career.”

As for his calling to the field of medicine, Dr. MacDougall shares that it happened a little later for him than other people.

It was not until my sophomore year in college that I decided on medicine as a career,” he says. “While I was always vaguely interested in medicine, it was not until I was working in a lab researching cardiac transplantation that I fell in love with the science and complexity of medicine.”

Like all of our providers, Dr. MacDougall faced and continues to face many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The practice of medicine has undergone a lot of changes during my career with the invention of electronic medical records to robotic surgery. However, the pandemic has forced us to pivot once again on how we practice medicine,” he says. “While the addition of virtual visits has helped in many ways to improve patient access, as a surgeon most of what I do is hands on and needs in-person interaction to get a true assessment of the patient’s issues. I frequently do virtual visits for post-operative patients that are doing well, but it can be challenging to get the entire picture if they are having issues.”

As a surgeon, Dr. MacDougall is proud of many things. However, he is most proud of his ability to educate.

I perform a lot of complex cancer surgeries and, as such, my biggest reward as a physician is educating and guiding patients through the complexity of cancer care: from surgery to medical therapies and radiation therapy.”

Like most doctors, Dr. MacDougall acknowledges that he couldn’t provide the quality care he does without his team members.

“I am so fortunate to work with my fellow physicians,” he shares. “They’re resilient, selfless, brilliant and caring individuals who sacrifice their lives to help others. Unfortunately, patients do not only have issues between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., so my colleagues are not able to just clock out. Sick patients are always on the mind of a physician even when the physician goes home for the day. Physicians always weigh all the options to improve patient care.”

As for a mentor that has inspired him in his career, one particular person some to mind for Dr. MacDougall.

“My senior partner when I started practicing, G. Broadie Newton, MD, FACS, is the consummate physician,” he says. “His easy-going demeanor and ability to look at all options has always inspired me. He has a special knack to break things down into fundamental pieces to simplify even the most complex of issues. He is always willing to extend a helping hand or give an opinion if requested.”

At the end of the day, patients are at the center of Dr. MacDougall’s focus.

“I love seeing patients who are able to get back to their regular lives and routines after undergoing an operation, regardless of the complexity.”

And if Dr. MacDougall wasn’t a doctor, what would he be?

“That is a great question,” he says. “I love interacting with people and caring for others, so I really honestly cannot see myself in another profession.”

With National Doctors’ Day coming up, Dr. MacDougall has the following message to share.

“National Doctors’ Day means that I get to show my colleagues how grateful I am for their skills and expertise, as well as their sacrifice. Only those in the profession really understand how much it took to become a physician and be able to give great quality care to their patients.”

Help us celebrate National Doctors’ Day by sharing a heartfelt message of appreciation for your Bon Secours provider! Please visit bonsecours.com/doctorsday before March 30 to submit your message of thanks.

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