Dr. Richard Milsten Responds to Scully-Welsh Cancer Center and Doctor Shortage Articles

Dr. Milston

Dr. Milsten Being Presented with a Lab Jacket Bearing His Name by Indian River Medical Center president/CEO Jeff Susi after the Indian River Medical Center Oncology Patient Navigator Program was named after him.



This is Dr. Milsten’s response to that article:

“I am pleased that you are informing the residents of IRC about the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center.  The importance of the affiliation with Duke Medicine cannot be overstated.

One unique feature of the SWCC is the fact that it will offer superior care to patients whose lives have been impacted by a malignancy.  And when the Center does not have the expertise to provide state-of-the-art care for a particular type of malignancy, the SWCC Navigation program will identify the appropriate cancer centers in the country where the patient can find the best care.

In addition the Navigators will help the patient schedule an appointment and be sure their records, including lab data and imaging studies such as MRIs & CT scans, will be sent to the institution.

And the IRMC pathology department, because of new cutting edge technology, has the ability to send biopsy slides to any hospital or cancer in the world by internet immediately.

Richard Milsten, M.D.”

LAST WE ALSO PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE ON OUR http://www.verocommunique.com WEBSITE ON DOCTOR SHORTAGES and how “a bad situation gets worse.”


Here is Dr. Milsten’s response to that article:

“I think the information you are providing the public on the physician shortage and how it intertwines with philanthropy is extremely important.

Dr. Kelly has the experience and expertise in this area and we should pay heed whenever he renders an opinion.

The equation is so simple and is based upon 2 premises.

1. We cannot attract top notch physicians without state-of-the art facilities and cutting edge technology. The best physicians, who spent 8-12 years in training, simply won’t set up a practice unless they have the best equipment and technical support.
They spent too many years in training and won’t accept the thought of not providing the highest quality of care possible.

2. We can’t provide the facilities and equipment needed without philanthropy.
Hospital profit margins don’t generate the monetary funds needed. For example. the new True Beam radiation machine cost about 5 million dollars.
This need for philanthropy is in large part due to our payer mix which is overwhelmingly Medicare and Medicaid.

Take away philanthropy provided by our very generous community and you would not have:
the new ER;
the Heart Center;
the affiliation with Duke Medicine;
the Sheridan ICU;
the Waxlax PACU;
the PSP;
the SW Cancer Center.

If the community wants to receive the highest quality of care, then those that are able need to step up to the plate philanthropically. This can be done for either altruistic or self-serving reasons. Either or both are valid and justifiable.”

We thought these were important comments to share with you.

Dr. Milsten is the former Chief of Urology and Medical Director at the Center for Sexual Health in Woodbury, N.J. He is currently the chairman of the IRMC Cancer Care Services Task Force and since 2005 he has been a member of the board of directors of the Indian River Medical Center Foundation.

He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his medical degree from Columbia University, the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In conclusion, I recently met a young man who is in his third year of medical school.  He said when he finishes, he will have $ 400,000 in student loan debt.  After that, he will be in residency for two years working 80 hours a week earning $ 8.00 to $ 10.00 an hour.

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