Dr. Joseph Hathaway, Jr. of the Gastroenterology Institute in Statesboro said his move to Bulloch County a year ago was instigated by the need to return to practicing medicine the way he always envisioned it.
"When I was working in a large gastroenterology practice in Savannah, I did not spend a lot of time with my patients," he said. "The way the practice was set up, a lot of the face time with patients was done by a physician's assistant, and I really missed that one-on-one interaction."
Hathaway said he decided to leave the practice in Savannah to open his own practice in Statesboro and be on staff with East Georgia Regional Medical Center.
"I have always had a lot of patients from the surrounding area, particularly Statesboro and Hinesville," he said. "It just seemed like a very logical place to build my own practice, and the people here are so very nice."
Hathaway also felt it was important to bring certain medical procedures to Statesboro that were not being performed here so residents would not have to leave this area to have them done. One of those procedures is the Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP, which is a specialized technique used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder.
Other procedures performed by Hathaway include colonoscopy, capsule endoscopy, upper endoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, PH monitoring, esophageal manometry, PEG tube insertion, esophageal dilation, ablation of Barrett's Mucosa.
Statesboro resident Walt Strickland has been a patient of Dr. Hathaway's for over ten years. Strickland said he is thrilled that he doesn't have to go to Savannah any more for treatment.
"Not only is he a good doctor, he really is just a good guy with a great attitude," Strickland said. "I was originally referred to Dr. Hathaway by a physician at Ft. Stewart. The first thing that I noticed was his bedside manner. Not only did he address me, but he talked to my wife as well. You can tell that he truly cares about your well being."
Hathaway said he feels it is very important to get to know your patients in order to provide the best possible care.
"I want to understand their concerns, and work with them on alleviating whatever the problem is," he said. "To do that, you need to visit with them and establish a rapport. I really enjoy that aspect of medicine. I truly missed that when I was practicing in Savannah, and knew that I needed to make a change."
Hathaway said his mission now is to let doctors in this area know all of the procedures that he performs on a routine basis.
"Everyone is busy, so it can be hard to get the word out about what you do," he said. "A lot of physicians don't realize that we work with the liver, for instance. But, most importantly, a lot of their patients don't need to go out-of-town any longer to have certain things done, and if someone needs care immediately, we can certainly work them in. I love working, and I love what I do, so I will spend whatever time is necessary to treat someone."
To learn more about Dr. Hathaway and the Gastroenterology Institute, visit www.mygistatesboro.com