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Employees share why they chose Geisinger, and why they stay

“As a family physician in the U.S. Air Force, I was trained to be a jack-of-all-trades,” says Trevor Smith, DO, a family care physician at Geisinger’s Gray’s Woods Clinic. “On an Air Force base and in the deployed setting, a military physician needs to be able to care for all kinds of illnesses and injuries, in children and adults, and that prepared me well for family medicine at Geisinger.” 

In the Air Force for 11 years, Dr. Smith, a native of Centre County, Pa., spent the last four years of his service at Scott Air Force Base outside St. Louis, Mo., where he trained military and civilian residents at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and cared for active-duty service members and their families. 
After leaving active-duty service with the rank of Major in 2018, Dr. Smith was looking to practice family medicine in a healthcare system that provided the same commitment to service and care as the military.  

He found that in Geisinger. 

The path to family medicine

Family medicine wasn’t Dr. Smith’s first choice when he thought of becoming a doctor. “When I was a kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian,” he says. “But a Christian medical trip to Honduras in my teens opened my eyes to the healing power of human medicine.” 

On that trip, a 16-year-old Dr. Smith worked with Geisinger physician Edward Prince, MD, a leader of the service group, who became a mentor along Dr. Smith’s path to family medicine.  

“Dr. Prince showed me how one family care physician can make a huge difference in so many people’s lives,” says Dr. Smith. 

Dr. Smith’s path toward family medicine continued through his undergraduate studies at Penn State University. During his senior year of college, he entered the Air Force as a Second Lieutenant, and after finishing medical school, was promoted to the rank of Air Force Captain. He headed to St. Louis for his residency and stayed on at Scott Air Force Base as an attending physician and assistant professor when his residency ended.   

Path home to Pennsylvania … and to Geisinger

After leaving active duty with the Air Force, Dr. Smith interviewed for positions in family medicine across the country and weighed the options offered at Geisinger.  

“Geisinger provided the high standards and stability of the military, many benefits to support my family and the chance to come back home — with the added benefit of practicing medicine at a leading healthcare system,” says Dr. Smith.  

He adds, “My wife is a neurologist fellowship-trained in sleep medicine, and we both decided this would be the best place to raise our growing family and that Geisinger would be the best place for us to work, because it aligns with our values and our idea of how medicine should be practiced.”  

Geisinger’s commitment to caring, not only for patients but also for Geisinger family members, was a major draw for Dr. Smith. “In one of my first interviews, one of the physicians interviewing me said, ‘We believe that if we provide kindness and respect to our physicians it will translate in quality care for our patients.’”  

A physician at Gray’s Woods Clinic for over a year, Dr. Smith says he believes Geisinger lives up to its value of caring. He says it’s especially reflected in the system’s innovative model of primary care. “Geisinger integrates its services to address all the needs of a patient, from allowing providers extra time in appointments with older and more medically complex adults to offering on-site pharmacies and providing an extensive network of specialists.  

“The recent addition of case workers, a social worker and psychologist to our clinic also shows Geisinger’s commitment to doing more than lip service to the concept of caring. It’s all right here to help keep our patients well supported and healthy.” 

Time for family and friends

Dr. Smith admits the life of a two-doctor household can get hectic, especially with two (soon to be three) small children, but the work-life balance provided at Geisinger makes things easier to manage. “I’m able to spend time with my children doing the things I loved as a kid — enjoying the outdoors, and I’ve taken up hunting and fly-fishing again. It’s great to be back in the area, in a career I know has lasting impact.”

Additionally, he enjoys spending time with his parents and extended family. He also finds time to meet often with Dr. Prince, who retired from Geisinger in 2018. The two discuss many things, including how family practice has changed over the years and how it’s stayed the same, and they exchange thoughts about their own unique experiences at Geisinger.
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