By: Hayes Baker, MD
In January of 2017, we introduced a group of physicians called Hospitalists who care for patients at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth, MS. That article discussed the many benefits of being under the care of Hospitalists, explained their role, and mentioned how these physicians are living, working, and socializing right here in the local community. Now, we turn the spotlight on Dr. Hayes Baker, a homegrown physician who is living her dream as a doctor in her hometown.
Q: You’re a hometown girl and grew up in Corinth. Why did you decide to come back here to practice?
A: Growing up in Corinth, I knew the healthcare needs of our town. I first started working at Magnolia when I was 16 years old, and it was then that I knew my calling in life was to be a physician. However, I realized early in medical school that I not only wanted to take care of patients, but I also wanted to teach the next generation of physicians. When Magnolia started the Internal Medicine Residency Program early in my medical training, I saw that I would have the opportunity to do both in my hometown: care for patients and teach residents and medical students. I have my dream job at Magnolia, and am fortunate enough to have it at the beginning of my career!
Q: How does your role at MRHC differ from that of a traditional hospitalist?
A: Our hospitalist program, like many in the country, have a “7 on, 7 off” schedule, meaning that the doctors work 7 days or nights and then have the next week off. I am more of a hybrid hospitalist. I work at Magnolia Regional Community Care Clinic on Mondays and Fridays supervising our internal medicine residents, and work Tuesday through Thursday supervising residents in the hospital. I also work a week of nights in the hospital every so often. I like the mix of caring for patients in the clinic and the hospital setting because I get to diagnose and treat the same diseases at different stages. It keeps me on my toes!
Q: As an internal medicine hospitalist, how do you coordinate care with the other specialists in the hospital?
A: As hospitalists, we care for patients with a wide variety of medical conditions. However, when we need extra help from specialist physicians, we are kind of the quarterback of the team. For example, if someone comes in with a difficult pulmonary problem, we call in the lung specialists. If a patient has an infection that’s difficult to treat, we ask the infectious disease specialist to help us choose a treatment. If a patient needs surgery, we involve a surgeon. Although we’re the patient’s “primary doctor,” the interaction with specialists outside of our field is critical to patient care. The other physicians in the hospital become part of our team and allow us to provide the best care for our community.