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MacDill doctors now operating at Tampa General

by Nick Stubbs
Thunderbolt staff writer

MacDill doctors have a new home away from home of sorts, many of them now approved to conduct surgery and other procedures at Tampa General Hospital.

Privileges for the Air Force doctors officially began March 6 and it didn't take long for them to take advantage of them, performing a procedure March 7, said Staff Sgt. Angela Zurun, a surgical technician specializing in ear, nose and throat medicine.

Zurun said the move to allow base doctors to use the hospital was a way to bolster services Tri-Care doctors provide. In the past, when a patient needed a procedure that required staff members, personnel or equipment not available at the base, they were referred to outside doctors. With the new system, doctors can stay with patients through the process rather than handing them off, said Zurun. One of the main reasons patients were referred was because the base hospital does not have an Intensive Care Unit, said Zurun.

"It's going to be great," said Zurun of the arrangement, who added that from a professional standpoint, she would be able to assist with cases to further her understanding of medicine and career goals. Patients benefit by being able to stay with their military doctors while taking advantage of the latest and best in medical technology available at Tampa General. Zurun said the new working relationship allows Tri-Care to "recapture" patients.

Before, everyone (needed procedures not available at MacDill) was going outside for help," she said. "Now we can take care of them."

Zurun said the reception by Tampa General has been great.

"They are eager to help the military in any way they can," said Zurun. "They have more up-to-date equipment and are willing to help by sharing it."

In addition to ear, nose and throat, general surgery, orthopedics and urology, other MacDill specialists will be practicing at Tampa General, Zurun said.




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