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Making the Rounds with Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson
 Issue 185 - March 5, 2019
Friends and Colleagues,

In today’s newsletter we feature Dr. Constantine George, who’s never short of ideas as a member of the UNLV School of Medicine Community Engagement Board. A Las Vegas native, he wants to ensure that medicine moves boldly into the digital age without losing its humanity. Dr. George made that clear during the stethoscope ceremonies for our first two classes -- he donated these symbols of the medical profession to all 120 students -- when he told our future physicians: “Uphold five core values throughout your medical careers -- humility, hospitality, respect, integrity and accountability...Always keep patients at the center of what you do.” To learn more about this community-minded physician, please read on.
Barbara signature, first name only
Dr. Constantine George:
Should be Part of Las Vegas Medicine
Dr. Constantine George, influenced by his Greek roots and Las Vegas upbringing, wants Southern Nevada to become a destination city for medical tourism. He believes one way to make that happen is to treat patients as welcome guests.
It was the death of a loved one that convinced Constantine George, then a student at Bonanza High School in Las Vegas, to become a physician.

“From a very young age I always had it in me to help and assist others,” says Dr. George, who graduated from the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine in 2001. “My paternal grandmother died ...and at that point it solidified my decision to become a physician. She was living in a Greek village and had limited access to physicians and healthcare.”

The more you talk with Dr. George, the more you come to understand how his Greek and Las Vegas backgrounds have helped shape his life.

“My parents immigrated to the USA from Greece and myself and my four siblings are first generation here...With immigrant parents who were not able to get a college was greatly prized... They stressed...obtaining...higher education would allow us to have more opportunities than they had.”

Studying late into the night became his normal. So did all “As”. He left Bonanza High School as its valedictorian. To this day George believes the vast majority of new immigrants to the United States push their children to excel, appreciating that education will be a vital part of whatever success they have.

As he grew up -- summers were spent in Greece with his beloved grandmother and other relatives -- George came to realize that the economic well being of Las Vegas depended on the hospitality shown to visitors.

His father was a maitre d’ at the Circus Maximus Showroom inside the Caesars Palace complex, a venue which, until it closed in 2000, was considered one of the great American theatre spaces, a place where people came to see performers that included Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., George Burns, the Pointer Sisters and Celine Dion. The room also housed plays and musicals ranging from Sweet Charity to the Odd Couple.

George, whose father got him in to see many of the shows, saw how well his father treated guests. Like his dad, his mother, who worked in room service for MGM, also believed that good customer service would result in guests returning for future vacations and spreading the good word about coming to Southern Nevada.
“In Las Vegas, hospitality is at the forefront of every major business and is the leading competitive factor to success...why not extend this idea of customer service and hospitality to healthcare?"
As he went to medical school and through post graduate training in Arizona -- he is board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics -- he began to think more and more about how he could incorporate hospitality into healthcare, believing that one day Las Vegas could grow into an international medical tourism destination. 

“You have to remember that in medicine you are in the service industry,” Dr. George says. “In Las Vegas, hospitality is at the forefront of every major business and is the leading competitive factor to success. Every major hotel/casino extensively trains staff, no matter their position, on the attitude and language required to acknowledge guests and create a welcoming atmosphere to set their brand apart from the rest. Why not extend this idea of customer service and hospitality to healthcare? Patients want to feel welcomed and appreciated, especially while seeking medical care. Understanding that patients are truly guests of the healthcare system is the first critical step of incorporating hospitality into healthcare and helping Las Vegas grow as an international medical tourism destination.”

When he returned to Las Vegas from Arizona, he made sure to incorporate the idea of hospitality into his private practice. That philosophy is on display today since his founding in 2017 of EPITOMEDICAL, a medical practice combining both internal medicine and pediatrics, offering concierge medicine 24/7 to family members of all ages. In addition , George developed an app, powered by EPITOMEDICAL, called Vedius, which provides patients direct access to the finest medical care from their smartphone. Vedius patients can be seen the same-day and be treated by a physician in their hotel room, taking the guesswork out of finding quality healthcare for those traveling.

During his career, Dr. George has developed five core values he believes physicians would be wise to include in their practice of medicine. In addition to hospitality, they are:

Humility -- “Being a doctor takes hard work but it is also a unique privilege and you need to remember that..”
Respect -- “Your medical care should always look to the individual patient regardless of demographics. Medical conditions don’t discriminate nor should you as a healthcare provider.”

Integrity --”Be upfront with your patient, follow up with them and keep them updated constantly. Also maintain confidentiality at all times.” 

Accountability -- “As a physician you must be reliable and answer to those who trust us, including our patients, colleagues and our community in general.”

His ideas and opinions have resonated across the country and overseas. Last year Reader’s Digest editors sought his insight on questionable health trends and both Reader’s Digest and MSN.Com shared his advice on aging with international audiences..

Dr. George wants to see the UNLV School of Medicine grow into an academic medical center that improves the health of Las Vegas for generations to come. When he shared his ideas about medicine with the school’s founding dean, Dr. Barbara Atkinson, she saw how valuable he would be on the school’s Community Engagement Board, where he is now an important contributor. 

When he offered to donate stethoscopes to incoming medical students and share his ideas with students during a ceremony where they would receive the long recognized symbol of the medical profession, Dr. Atkinson was happy to have him do so.

“I want to do all I can,” says Dr. George, “to bring the best medical care to Las Vegas.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Constantine George: (702) 419-3482
 Click to see recent stories about UNLV School of Medicine

Tackling Nevada’s Shortage of Medical Specialists


February 20, 2019

  According to the American Medical Association’s Physician Master File, 42% of practicing physicians in the United States are 55 years old or older.  

All previous issues of  Making the Rounds with Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson , are available on our website.
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