I have had the awesome opportunity to work with Dr. Kubek who ended up saving a boy’s life during his very first locums assignment. Saving a life is part of the job for many surgeons, but this story was quite unique and shows how someone who really listened and trusted their gut feeling was able to catch a very serious situations that other doctors had missed. This month, Dr. Kubek was featured in our CompHealth newsletter, here is the article that details why this situation was so unique:
“This is the story of an amazing CompHealth provider – Dr. Edward Kubek. It’s not only a story about being in the right place at the right time, but also how being the right person in the right place can have life-saving results.
Dr. Kubek is a general surgeon but after being in a plastic surgery fellowship for three years, he was at risk of losing his general surgery credentials. Dr. Kubek and GS recruiter Simon Parsons worked together to find a locums assignment that would help ensure his general surgery counts were where they needed to be. With the teamwork of Simon, Kathy Matthews, Mica Benavidez, Erin Sayachith and Isaac Zeigler, we were able to credential Dr. Kubek and get him on assignment at the same Lenoir, North Carolina, hospital where he did his general surgery training. On the surface, this assignment was the perfect way to set Dr. Kubek’s career back on track. But it was also the perfect opportunity for Dr. Kubek to save a 13-year-old’s life.
The teenager, who only spoke Spanish, had been experiencing severe abdominal pain and had visited multiple doctors and hospitals, but each doctor had failed to find anything wrong with the boy. His vitals were normal and he didn’t show signs of appendicitis. Doctors were at a loss. Luckily, Dr. Kubek also spoke Spanish, and after asking multiple questions and mulling over the clues that hadn’t added up, he concluded that the patient had a rare condition that twists and cuts off blood supply to the colon, backing up gas and waste and causing extreme discomfort, vomiting and possibly death. Essentially, the patient’s colon was a ticking time bomb.
Wasting no time, Dr. Kubek arranged for the teen to be transferred to Charlotte, where the surgeons had the best resources to treat his condition.
Initially Dr. Kubek had a hard time getting the approval for this transfer. But he remained undeterred and made several calls to friends at the hospital to figure out who was on call.
Due of his reputation and connections at the facility, Dr. Kubek was able to track down the attending surgeon, who happened to be one of the physicians who trained him.
Because of Dr. Kubek’s quick diagnosis, the patient was able to get the help he needed to avoid serious complications. And had it not been for the teamwork between our GS team and Business Partners, Dr. Kubek would not have been in the right place at the right time to save this boy’s life. Essentially, if we had not been able to credential this doctor – if Dr. Kubek had not been staffed at this facility or if he had not spoken Spanish – this patient could have easily died.”
Stories like this really give me purpose behind what I do and make me wonder what it will be like for this kid to go on and hopefully create some positive change in the world. At CompHealth, we like to think of the ‘ripple effect’ of what we do, what our surgeons and doctors do, and what their patients may end up doing.