By Jamie Spainhower
Bradley Demarais, M.D., will be in Hettinger for a few months this winter as a locum surgeon.
Published January 17, 2014
“I have signed a two-month commitment with West River Health Service to perform surgeries,” said Demarais. “A locum tenens doctor is one who is a ‘place holder.’”
This is a way for doctors to spend time at a facility, while becoming familiar with the area, getting to know the hospital and see if both are interested in a permanent position at the end of the time, he said.
Demarais is a board certified general surgeon, with a fellowship in advanced laparoscopy. A fellowship is a specialization, and unlike its name may seem to indicate, a general surgeon works mostly in the abdomen and endocrine system.
Always good in math and sciences, he said he has always wanted to help people and the Iowa native loves being a surgeon.
“Being a surgeon is a wonderful thing,” he said. “I get to be a detective, and diagnose someone who doesn’t feel good, go in and fix the problem and know I have helped someone,” he said.
A people person, he believes it is very important to have a trusting relationship between doctor and patient, and others involved with the patient’s care.
“If there is an accident and someone needs their spleen taken out I can take it out right now and save a life,” he explained. “If someone has a cancerous tumor on their colon, I can go in and remove the tumor, while others, such as oncologists, work on other aspects of treatment like radiation.”
Laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive, meaning as small an incision as possible is made. This is beneficial to the patient in many ways, including less pain and a faster recovery time. Many procedures, such as gallbladder removal or an appendectomy, can now be done as same-day surgery, instead of an extended hospitalization.
Demarais attended four years of medical school at the University of Iowa, his surgical residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. for six years, a year fellowship in advanced laparoscopy and spent three years practicing as an acute care surgeon.
Now that the 90-hour weeks of his residency are behind him, Demarais enjoys weight lifting, Tae Kwon Do, gourmet cooking and of course golf, basketball and football.
Appointments can be scheduled through the WRHS appointment desk at 701-567-6104