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Posted by: thepinetree on 08/29/2017 08:39 AM Updated by: thepinetree on 08/29/2017 08:39 AM
Expires: 01/01/2022 12:00 AM

Dr. Pardeep Athwal is new radiologist at Mark Twain Medical Center

San Andreas, CA...Dr. Pardeep Athwal brings cutting-edge expertise to his new role as radiologist at Mark Twain Medical Center (MTMC) – but it was old-fashioned family values that brought him to Calaveras County. “I was away from family for way too long,” he notes. Dr. Athwal was born in Modesto and raised in Ceres, where his parents still reside. He has spent the past 15 years pursuing university studies and earning his medical degrees on the East Coast. Dr. Athwal received his Doctor of Medicine at the St. George’s University School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine Internship at the University Hospital of Brooklyn followed by his Diagnostic Radiology residency at the University of Connecticut Health Center. He recently completed his Musculoskeletal fellowship at the University of Utah Medical Center.

MTMC President and CEO Bob Diehl explains that Dr. Athwal’s fellowship experience is expanding local radiology options. "A radiologist who completed a musculoskeletal fellowship has additional subspecialized training that provides a broad foundation specific to diagnostic imaging and interventional procedures involving the bones, joints and soft tissues. All these skills are broadening our imaging services.”

Diehl explains, “It was a lucky coincidence that we found each other. When Dr. Bill Griffin decided to retire after 28 years of service to the hospital he assisted me in the search for a replacement. We concluded the best option for MTMC was contracting with Imaging Advantage, a provider of radiology services and technology to hospital systems across the U. S. Dr. Athwal had just completed his fellowship at University of Utah, joined the medical staff at Imaging Advantage and was looking for a position in its hospital network. Calaveras County was the perfect match for this ‘real California guy’ who was raised in the Central Valley and did his undergraduate studies at UC Santa Barbara.”

Dr. Athwal echoes the sentiment, “I was so excited to see this opportunity come up so close to home. We came up to the foothills all the time while I was growing up for hiking and enjoying the lakes and reservoirs. I love this area. When the time came for me to explore career opportunities, I was looking all over the country when it occurred to me that I would be happiest close to home. It wasn’t long before I saw this opening at MTMC and jumped at the chance.” He joined MTMC less than a month ago. He is happily reconnecting with relatives across the Central Valley while house hunting in Calaveras County.

He has already made an impact by introducing voice recognition technology to replace older transcription techniques. He has been working with Imaging Services Director Rick Reed and the department’s CT and MRI technicians to streamline protocols.

“Our goal is to have a one day turnaround on all imaging,” Dr. Athwal says. “It’s important that our physicians receive imaging results as quickly as possible so they can start treatments immediately. Their success depends upon us.”

Dr. Athwal is taking an active role in imaging procedures himself, routinely performing biopsies and administering injections. Diehl notes these are the kinds of services now possible because of Dr. Athwal’s advanced training. “He has brought a very positive, aggressive cadence and tempo to the
department. His education and specialized training provides the foundation for a new level of imaging services. And beyond that, our arrangement with Imaging Advantage offers broad backup through its vast network for imaging in terms of 24/7 coverage and peer over-reads to validate on-site results.

Dr. Athwal says, “We are moving the department towards digital imaging with new equipment expected to come on-line soon. And, we are implementing low dose lung screening. It is high-tech for early detection. We are focused on providing state-of-the-art imaging in Calaveras County. It is at the core of excellent medical care close to home. Local patients should not have to drive an hour for imaging services.” “However,” he continues, “if there is an instance when more specialized care is needed, being part of the Dignity Health family allows our patients access to top notch providers at our larger institutions to receive the comprehensive care they need, while staying within the Dignity Health family.”

Dr. Athwal adds, “For me, it is very gratifying to put my medical training to work for this community.”

At Mark Twain Medical Center there is a lot more to Imaging Services than X-rays. While that routine
diagnostic screening accounts for around two-thirds of the 33,302 tests last year – totals for more
sophisticated procedures continue to increase.

MTMC President and CEO Bob Diehl suspects the community may not be fully aware of MTMC’s
imaging capabilities and might be surprised by the totals:
X-rays – 3,593 inpatient and 17,299 outpatient; totaling 20,892.
MRI – 116 inpatient and 1,167 outpatient; totaling 1,283.
CT scans – 1,081 inpatient; 4,542 outpatient; totaling 5,623.
Ultrasound – 247 inpatient; 2,439 outpatient; totaling 2,686
PET – CT scans – 48 outpatient treatments
Diehl notes, “We want to get the word out about the imaging services here at MTMC and how the
arrival our of our new radiologist Dr. Pardeep Athwal continues to increase and enhance those options.
It is important local residents know our expertise matches those of large health care facilities in the
Valley. You can get cutting-edge screenings here at home.”
Pardeep Athwal, MD, MBA Radiology

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