AFTER 31 YEARS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE, A NORTH SHORE MEDICAL MAINSTAY JOINS THE FACULTY AT SIUH
BY JESSICA JONES GORMAN • PHOTOS BY AMESSÉ PHOTOGRAPHY
For more than three decades, Dr. Richard M. Steinbruck has provided clinical care to countless Staten Island residents, building a respected, community based surgical practice on the borough’s North Shore. Managing a variety of procedures from general to oncological, Steinbruck thrived in private practice for years, amassing a solid patient base and an equally firm reputation as one of the borough’s leading surgeons. Now he is bringing that long standing expertise to Staten Island University Hospital.
“What I’ve found here at this hospital is a tremendous staff that is dedicated to quality care,” Steinbruck said. “The transition from private to hospital based practice is a significant change, but this new position frees me from many administrative restraints, allowing me to focus strictly on superior attention and treatment.”
Steinbruck, who was born and raised in Queens, graduated from Queens College and the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse before completing a residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.
“When I was younger, there were several members of my family who were pretty ill,” he recalled. “Back then, doctors made house calls, and I saw firsthand all of the good they did…all of the relief they gave with their visits. I think it was then that I decided that this was what I wanted to do.”
Steinbruck made the decision to specialize in surgery during his post graduate training. “During my rotations, I just seemed to gravitate towards surgery,” he noted. “I had some interest in other sub specialties, but my third and fourth year just clinched it.
”The young MD rotated through several hospitals in Brooklyn and Staten Island as part of residency training before moving to the borough in 1987 and joining a private practice. In 1996, he and some other surgeons formed Richmond Surgical Associates, and he remained part of that practice until being named director for SIUH’s south site last month.
“I plan on continuing my community based practice here, and will also care for patients at the hospital’s north site,” he noted. “But I will also focus on resident education, which is exciting.”
His appointment comes at a time of rapid expansion for SIUH’s department of surgery, which currently employs 32 full time surgeons and a voluntary staff of private practice surgeons. The department provides care in numerous operating rooms, including suites in the Heart Tower and the onsite Center for Ambulatory Surgery. Its array of services includes surgical oncology; bariatric surgery; plastic, reconstructive, and hand surgery; microsurgery; vascular surgery; and general thoracic surgery. The department has trained graduates of such medical schools as New York University, the Albany Medical School, Cornell, Tulane, Tufts, Creighton, and the University of Florida. More than two thirds of graduates from its surgical training program have sought and obtained post graduate
“One of this hospital’s many strengths is its connection to the community. I’m very proud to be a part of this family.”
Specialty fellowships at institutions like the Yale New Haven Medical Center, Beth Israel Hospital in New York City, and the University of Illinois in Chicago.
“We have four surgical complexes that encompass 35 operating rooms at two campuses covering a broad spectrum of disciplines, including minimally invasive and robotic surgical procedures,” noted Dr. Michael O. Bernstein, chair of surgery at SIUH. “In this field, incisions have gone from big to small, and minimally invasive procedures continue to progress throughout all disciplines vascular, breast, even general surgery. The addition of robotics allows physicians to perform even more extensive procedures, and we currently have a strategic plan in place for the creation of a hybrid OR with all of the most modern equipment and sophisticated imaging. That will allow us to perform all of the latest procedures, especially for vascular patients.”
For Steinbruck, these advances are an important part of his field’s future. “I think that the reach of minimally invasive surgery will only expand,” he noted. “Over the years, the introduction and development of new techniques and treatments has had such positive benefits for the patient reduced hospital stays, smaller incisions, and quicker recovery.
“One of this hospital’s strengths is its connection to the community. My wife and I have raised our three children here. The greatest giveback to Staten Island is to ensure that each physician works hard to make sure that all of their patients’ needs are properly met. That synergy is so important. I’m very proud to be a part of this family.”
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