Dr. Michelle Gordon
Michelle E. Gordon, DO, FACOS, FACS, had an unusual start to becoming a board-certified general surgeon.
Shortly after graduating from college, her young son’s leukemia diagnosis was just the beginning of a long personal and professional journey.
Although becoming a doctor was her dream since age five, her life experiences as the parent of a young child with cancer provided a unique career perspective. “I know what it’s like to navigate a difficult healthcare maze as a patient, an advocate, and a parent,” she explains. “I know what it’s like to love someone who is seriously ill.”Realizing her effectiveness in crises, she pursued a focused on acute care general surgery and saving lives. Committed to trying to use the least invasive procedure possible, Dr. Gordon has been performing advanced laparoscopic surgeries, colorectal surgeries, hernia repairs, gallbladder removal, and appendectomies among other emergency surgeries at New York-presbytarian/Hudson Valley Hospital and St. John’s Riverside Hospital since opening her practice in 2005. “I take care of people who normally would go to New York City for specialized care,” she says. “Keeping them close to home is a huge advantage.”Dr. Gordon approaches each day with the philosophy she lives by – “Life is for the living,” a message she’d like to spread to others, including her patients. The philosophy also informs her commitment to healthy living and the lifestyle she encourages her patients to follow. A passionate cyclist, Dr. Gordon’s enthusiasm for living a healthy life is as infectious as it is inspiring.
Q & A
How did you decide to become a surgeon?
During my 4th year clinical rotations in medical school, I realized I was always going to the operating room, no matter what service I was on. For example, I was doing an internal medicine rotation, and every time one of the patients had to go to the operating room, I asked if I could go. I had an “aha” moment when I stopped and examined this pattern and began pursuing surgery.
What made you decide to open your own practice?
When I completed residency in 2005, I knew I wanted to do general surgery and not specialize. I was given an opportunity to open a practice with support of a local hospital and took advantage of that. I have always loved being my own boss.
What are the core values of the practice?
The core values of Gordon Surgical Group are C.A.R.E. Communication: we communicate effectively and clearly with patients, colleagues and staff. Always learning (attitude of learning): No one knows everything, and each one of us can learn more. We have weekly meetings to advance our knowledge in our chosen fields and other areas where we have personal interest. Respect: All patients and staff are recognized for their uniqueness. All patients and employees are treated with respect, empathy, and compassion. Empowerment: we create a culture of empowerment by educating patients while listening to their concerns and questions, allowing fully informed decisions. We encourage growth in our employees through flexibility, education, and excellence.
How can independent practices improve healthcare services to patients?
Independent practices like Gordon Surgical Group are not managed by a huge healthcare behemoth. We are small and are able to spend as much time as is necessary to make sure our patients feel comfortable. We spend the time necessary to make sure you understand exactly what the surgeon is planning to do and why. In a large group practice, visits are regimented; patients must be seen every 10- or 15-minutes. While we strive to stay on schedule, we will also take the extra time you may need to understand your procedure.