Two new providers, Victoria Edwards, DO, and Rafael Montecino, MD, joined Gifford Health Care in mid-August, strengthening the Gifford general surgery team to meet the needs of central Vermont patients.
Edwards and Montecino will provide a variety of services in both office and operating-room settings, from surgery required by diseases of the skin to appendix removal, to comprehensive breast care. Both surgeons were attracted by Gifford’s size, commitment to personalized health care, and sense of community.
“There’s a tendency to be pigeonholed at larger hospitals,” said Montecino, whose previous experience includes over seven years as a surgeon at the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth, Kan. “Here we can offer personalized care and practice medicine as it should be, healing patients as human beings.”
“I like to get patients involved in making decisions,” he said of his approach to patient care. “My main goal is to listen and make time to explain to patients the pathology, complications and outcomes—and answer all of their questions.”
Montecino brings nearly 25 years of experience to Gifford, including in burn surgery, critical care, and hand and microvascular surgery, and has taught clinical surgery at Harvard Medical School and the University of Kansas. His extensive training includes surgical fellowships with Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, and Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, and residencies at the University of Connecticut, University of California San Diego, and in Panama City, Panama. He earned his medical degree at the Universidad de Panamá; is certified by The American Board of Surgery; and is a member of several professional associations, including the American College of Surgeons, Panamerican Trauma Society, and World Society of Emergency Surgery. Before deciding to make a permanent move to Vermont, Montecino, who lives in Randolph, visited the state regularly over the last 16 years. When not working, he enjoys traveling, photography, reading, and experiencing new cuisines.
Edwards, who recently completed her general-surgery residency at Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey, brings significant vascular training to Gifford. Her clinical interests also include breast health and surgery and advanced laparoscopic procedures.
Being a surgeon is the “only thing I ever wanted to do,” said Edwards, who describes her style with patients as straightforward. “It is very satisfying to be able to fix something quickly for a patient and make it go away.”
Edwards earned her medical degree from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City and a bachelor’s degree from New York University. She was invited to present at the Annual Clinical Assembly of Osteopathic Surgeons in 2014 and 2016. Before medical school, she was part of research teams at York College / City University of New York (CUNY), Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Sadick Dermatology. When not at work, she spends time with family and gardens at her home in Barnard.
For more information about general surgery at Gifford, visit giffordhealthcare.org/service/general-surgery.
# # #