General surgery has expanded the number of clinics it is providing, cut the waiting time for an appointment to within one-two weeks of the appointment call, and is developing  guidelines to streamline patient visits.  Yet, the division remains a "best kept secret" since its move to the UNM Hospital first floor a year and a half ago.

"We've been able to expand appointment slots since we no longer are sharing space with the Surgical Specialties," said Gerald "Chip" Demarest, M.D., Medical Director for the General Surgery Clinic.  "Yet we find that our patients don't always benefit since many referring departments and clinics are unaware we moved from the 2nd ACC at the time we split from Surgical Specialists.  Patients are still being told in error to check in on 2ACC and this can result in frustrating waits for them and their physicians and missed appointments."

General Surgery Clinic is now located on the first floor of UNM Hospital, across from the Gift Shop in space which previously housed the Orthopedics Clinic.  Many of the surgeries are being performed on at out-patient basis at OSIS. 

Clinic physicians do all general surgeries, laparoscopic as well as open.  Other special procedures vary by physician.

Surgeons practicing in the General Surgery Clinic are:

Gerald Demarest, M.D.   All general surgeries except limited breast disease.

Donald Fry, M.D.            All general surgeries except limited breast disease.        

Carey Hill, M.D.              All general surgeries INCLUDING limited breast disease

Stephen Lu, M.D.           All general surgeries INCLUDING limited breast disease

David Pitcher, M.D.         All general surgeries except limited breast disease

Bruce Mathis, M.D.        All general surgeries INCLUDING limited breast disease

Maria Terry, M.D.           All general surgeries except limited breast disease; GERD Specialist; Laparoscopic Specialist

 "We also have completed guidelines to streamline what patients need for the most efficient visits," said Anita (Neets) Levandowski, RN, Charge Nurse for the General Surgery Clinic.  For instance, anyone looking at possible surgery of the abdomen or pelvis needs a CT completed before coming for their consultation.  She added that patients are being asked to hand carry records and tests from their referring physicians.  "We believe we can cut down the number of multiple visits patients have to make, especially out-of-town."

Patients and staff who wish to refer to the General Surgery Clinic should contact Terry, the telephone scheduler, Anita Levandowski or Mary Garcia, RN for additional information on guidelines.  The general number for the clinic is 272-2336.


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322