New chief of pediatrics for Midtown Medical Center is ‘here for the long run’ – Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
When she was a medical student choosing what field of medicine she wanted to specialize in, Dr. Rebecca Reamy thought about being a plastic surgeon or an orthopedic surgeon. That was until she did a clinical rotation in pediatrics.
“Everybody was just so happy,” she recalled.
More than 20 years later, Reamy says she has never regretted her choice to spend her medical career caring for the health of children.
On July 1, the 52-year-old physician began working as the chief of pediatrics of the Midtown Medical Center Children’s Hospital and also as medical director of the hospital’s pediatric emergency department.
She replaced the retired Dr. Joseph Zanga.
Prior to coming to Columbus, Reamy was a pediatric emergency physician for nine years at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.
She said she had been looking for the opportunity to move into a leadership position.
“This offered that for me,” she said.
Despite the leadership position, Reamy is not just an administrator. She takes her turn doing a shift in the pediatric emergency department.
“In the emergency room you see a little bit of everything. For the first 15 minutes a patient is there, you have to be an expert in everyone’s specialty,” she said.
Reamy is a graduate of Texas Tech University and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Reamy comes from a medical family, with her father an Army doctor and her mother a physical therapist.
“I knew when I was 2 years old that I wanted to be a doctor,” she said.
Her brother is a doctor, and her sister is a physical therapist.
Reamy said it was never expected that she and her siblings would go into the medical field.
They chose it.
“It was just natural for me,” Reamy said.
Her husband, Dan, is a personal trainer who is currently working as a stay-at-home dad.
They have two sons, 11-year-old Daniel and 6-year-old Matthew.
She said she thought it would be tough leaving Atlanta but has found it “incredibly easy.”
The family lives on five acres in Fortson, Ga., where her husband maintains a large garden.
At work, Reamy has been impressed by the support of the pediatric community and community at large.
“It is really easy to get support for projects you want to do,” she said.
She said the pediatric emergency department needs more space, and she would like to add more beds to the 12 now there.
She said there is some storage space that could be used in the future.
The department is 5,080 square feet that is directly adjacent to the emergency and trauma center and has a back door connecting it to imaging and trauma services within the center.
It features specialized equipment, such as specific fluid infusers for child IV therapy and pediatric respiratory equipment.
Reamy said when the department opened in June 2013 it was expected to see about 14,000 patients per year but is treating about double that number.
On board at the hospital, there is already a pediatric neurologist, pediatric gastroenterologist and pediatric orthopedist.
A child-life specialist is present to help children and their families deal with hospitalization and illness, answering their questions. She called it a unique service.
“We are recruiting a pediatric endocrinologist and pediatric cardiologist,” Reamy said.
She also wants to add another hospitalist.
“We do not want parents to have to take their children to Atlanta for treatment. We want families to stay right at home and not have to be in a hotel. We want them to be able to get what they need here,” Reamy said.
She sees great things in the future for the children’s hospital.
“I am here for the long run,” Reamy said.