NAME: Patrick Arnold, M.D.
TITLE: Regional Medical Director
EMPLOYER: Corizon, Albuquerque, N.M.
EDUCATION: Attended medical school at Alabama School of Medicine; post-graduate education at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center in Internal Medicine.
What do you like best about being a correctional medicine physician?
I’ve been able to address common and uncommon medical conditions in a captive population. That affords me the opportunity to follow patients long-term. I like the support that I get from my colleagues and superiors…the opportunity to practice in what I think is an interesting field.
Is there anything you don’t like about it?
No, but I think for an individual on the outside looking in, the possible experience of practicing within a correctional environment could be somewhat daunting. For me, when I initially entered correctional medicine in 2004, I was somewhat apprehensive. I entered a correctional facility, and the doors were securely closed behind me. I was oriented to the clinical area; it was just like practicing ambulatory medicine in any routine outpatient clinic.
Why did you choose to practice correctional medicine?
I worked in a community-based clinic in rural Mississippi and was looking for a change from that environment. A recruiter contacted me about working in one of the correctional centers. I interviewed as a temporary replacement to earn extra income and ended up working in that facility from 2004 to 2006.
Today, I’m the regional medical director at a New Mexico contract for Corizon, but I do have some clinical duties to perform patient care.
I think correctional medicine is an excellent opportunity for practitioners to practice autonomously and to take care of patients. They have excellent support from the company to practice evidence-based medicine and to develop experience in a managed care setting. (more…)