Dr. Catalin Burciu, a highly regarded physician in the Mount Airy community for the past 18 years, has joined Northern Hospital of Surry County as a Hospitalist.
For Dr. Burciu, his full-time appointment to the medical staff of Northern Hospital feels a bit like a home-coming. In prior positions with the hospital and other area medical groups, he has interacted frequently with the physicians and staff of Northern. “I already know most of the doctors, nurses, and staff, as well as the hospital policies and procedures – so it will be a comfortable transition into my new role,” he says.
As a dedicated Hospitalist, Dr. Burciu joins seven other physicians who are responsible for the general medical care and treatment of all inpatients – those who have been admitted to a specialty unit or division of the hospital until they’re able to be discharged. Board-certified in internal medicine, Dr. Burciu brings to his new role an abundance of medical knowledge, specialized experience, and a comprehensive understanding of family dynamics that can aid the healing process. “I listen to the patient and listen to the family,” he emphasizes. “When a patient is admitted to the hospital, we’re not treating a disease of just that patient; we’re treating a situation that affects the whole family. I see the family as a whole; and seek to establish trust with them in our very first meeting.”
Dr. Burciu looks forward to providing the uninterrupted continuity-of-care that hospitalists can bring to patients. “Hospitalists don’t have to rush back-and-forth from an office to the hospital, and vice versa,” explains Dr. Burciu. “As such, we can provide a high level of seamless, focused care that meets the immediate needs of patients and their families.”
Dr. Burciu’s philosophy of patient care – developed from nearly three decades of helping patients — is that all treatment decisions are shared decisions. “I’m more of an advisor,” he says. “I will explain to my patients all the issues
related to their condition, give them all their options, offer my recommendations, and then assist them in making an informed decision about how best to move forward.”
Dr. Burciu acknowledges that his path to treating patients in “Mayberry” has taken some interesting twists and turns since his early medical training in Bucharest — the bustling, cosmopolitan capital of Romania. After earning his medical
degree with top honors from the Carol Davila University of Medicine & Pharmacy in 1989, he completed a three-year internship at University Hospital; followed by a three-year residency in Internal Medicine at Coltea Clinical Hospital, the oldest and most well-known major hospital in Bucharest.
His formal studies and clinical training completed, Dr. Burciu and his new bride, Brindusa (also a physician), decided to flee their native country due to the oppressive Communist regime in power at that time. “We were living under a brutal dictatorship,” he recalls. “It was oppressive at all levels – political, economic, and cultural.” After obtaining visas and official approval to enter the United States, the young married couple raced to the closest airport “and bought two one-way tickets to Miami,” says Dr. Burciu. “For us, it was the best opportunity in the world!”
Shortly after their arrival, Dr. Burciu completed another three-year residency program at the prestigious Saint Luke’s Medical Center / Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio; and earned his board certification in Internal Medicine in 1999. He and his wife also became naturalized citizens.
When the newly transplanted physician got a job offer from a family-practice group based in North Carolina, he eagerly accepted. The foothills and population of North Carolina, he explains, closely resembled the geography and people of rural Romania that he and Brindusa had left behind.
“We like it here,” he says, comfortably. “The community is very friendly, and the people have strong faith and good, solid values.”
Outside the hospital, the affable and intellectually curious doctor enjoys spending time with his family – which now also includes college-bound twins Monica and Andrew. In addition, he looks forward to gathering with friends to watch professional soccer games and cheer on his favorite championship team, the Barcelona Football Club. Two favorite solo activities include studying ancient European history and collecting Romanian stamps – which, through exquisitely intricate visual depictions of kings, castles and conquerors, provide an interesting pictorial review of the history and heritage of that now-independent nation.
“I am very pleased to be part of the stellar medical staff of Northern Hospital,” said Dr. Burciu, “and look forward to working with my colleagues to further enhance the effectiveness of the hospital’s quality-improvement and patient-safety programs.”
PHOTO: Dr. Burciu (standing) consults with fellow hospitalist Dr. Bill Lawing in the Emergency Department at Northern Hospital.