Dr. James Clement has been named Carroll Hospital's Physician of the Year, an honor acknowledging his clinical skill, and going above and beyond in his attention to patients.
"I was very honored to receive this award. First of all, I thank the Lord," Clement said. "It was really teamwork, including the nursing staff, the medical staff, everyone; case managers, pharmacists — I could not have done it without them."
An adult hospitalist who helps cover all of the medical admissions to the hospital, Clement has only been with Carroll Hospital since April 2015, making his selection as Physician of the Year even more impressive, according to Carroll Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Olszyk.
Olszyk serves on the committee that selects both the hospital's Physicians of the Month each month and its Physician of the Year, and said the large number of testimonials from patients attesting to Clement's care and attention, given his short time with the hospital, made an impression.
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"His clinical skills are beyond reproach," Olszyk said, "but what is most remarkable is just how kind and giving and considerate he was, which really marks him as going above and beyond and really being emblematic of the physician we are looking for around here."
On several occasions, Olszyk said, Clement returned to the hospital after his shift to speak with family members of sick patients, walking them through the treatment process, explaining options and listening to concerns.
"He was very kind," Olszyk said. "He [displayed] no regard for his own time or schedule. He stayed has long as they wanted to talk to him."
If Clement is sensitive to the concerns of patients, he said, it is because he has been a patient and he understands that side of the experience.
"That's the time when you're vulnerable, you need attention," he said. "Communication is everything. ... It's only five more minutes. You just sit down with them and explain to them what we're going to do."
Even as he stays current by reading the latest studies in medical journals, Clement said he likes to tell his patients about them as well, encouraging them to "Google it because now they can Google everything," so that they can be involved in the treatment process rather than simply being on the receiving end of his ministrations.
Clement finished his residency in 2015, and after some time spent practicing in Boston to gain further experience, he signed a contract with Adfinitas Health, and came to Carroll Hospital.
And that, according to Olszyk, is another way in which Clement's winning Physician of the Year is unique. There are three types of physicians working at Carroll Hospital, he said: employees, independent physicians and contractors.
"We are very happy to highlight him because he is a contractor and that's also a little bit new — usually it's been independent physicians, so he's kind of a new breed," Olszyk said. "He's definitely a huge asset. We wish there were more doctors just like him."
But none of this appears to have gone to Clement's head — honored as he is for the recognition. He likes to stay focused on his work and what he has to do to provide the best care he can for his patients.
"I just think you should be humble. You should really be humble because the more you know, the more you see that there is so much more to know," he said. "Were not always in control, sometimes you really have to leave everything to the Lord as well and make him the center of everything."