Meet the Dosher Trustee: Q&A with Dr. Terry Pieper
Question #1: As a longtime member of the Dosher Medical Staff, what's the biggest change you've seen in medicine in your years in practice?
Dr. Pieper: First, the ever increasing third party-payer influence on health care to the point of being obtrusive and interfering with patient care. Second, the advent of government regulation of medicine. The time-consuming demands of electronic medical record data entry and the required quality incentives vs. disincentives along with other time- and finance-draining mandates have taken away from the physician patient relationship. The ever-evolving reimbursement landscape has only complicated things. Physician burnout is at an all-time high. Physicians want to remain dedicated to medicine, but are fighting powerful forces that further divide our time and attention from patients. These forces seem to be threatening the very existence of physician groups, especially those in private practice, as well as small community hospitals.
Question #2: How did you become interested in hospital governance?
Dr. Pieper: I believe I was put in the right place at the right time. A board member was moving on to other ventures and I was asked to fill out his term. Although not sure about it initially, I prayed and turned things over to God. I guess things happened according to His will, as they always do.
Question 3: If there's anything you could have done differently in your medical career, what would that be?
Dr. Pieper: I love primary care and I believe it is where I was meant to be. One of my greatest joys is the long-standing relationships I have developed with many of my patients.
Question 4: What is the most important thing you'd like the public to know about Dosher Memorial Hospital?
Dr. Pieper: Dosher is one of the best of its kind and is continually striving to improve. Bigger is not always better. I'm blessed to be a part of hospital governance and physician leadership, and have seen the way that the hospital board, administration and medical staff have been working hard to achieve a common goal: excellence. Nothing less.
In addition, Dosher's impact to this community is greater than most people imagine. As one of the largest employers in the county-which is also extremely active in community and charitable causes-the citizens of Smithville Township and beyond have a precious asset in hand. This is your hospital, and this is my family's hospital.
Dosher is the only independent, critical access hospital in North Carolina. It is governed by a Board of Trustees elected by the public, and Dr. Pieper-a board-certified internal medicine physician-is one of the seven members of the board.