Apr 05th 2019

Faces of eviCore: Dr Ronald Uscinski

When we hear “amateurs," we often think of people in the first stages of learning the ropes of a skill or trade. But Dr. Ronald Uscinski focuses more on the Latin meaning of the word—those doing something for the love of it—when describing his passion for patient care.

He has stories on top of stories about “amateur" neuroscientists whom he has encountered over the years, and has had the privilege to watch them become experts while cultivating their love of it.

Whether teaching his son's kindergarten class about the workings of the brain (and ending up with most of the school—including the principal—in the classroom for 2 hours), or swapping stories with his former med school classmates about the most life-changing patients they've encountered, Dr. Uscinski demonstrates his passion every day for the person behind the patient.

A Reputation as a “World Expert"

Dr. Uscinski went to Georgetown Medical School and later worked with the legal team defending the British au pair who stood trial in the famous “shaken baby syndrome" case in 1997. He explains that the case stemmed from an experiment which was misinterpreted, and that he was called as a witness to explain the physics behind the medical diagnosis of the case. Drawing on his background in neurosurgery, he delivered groundbreaking testimony that when an infant without support of their head is shaken, they will sustain an injury in the neck and not to the head. He recalls that he “didn't like [being in court] at all," but now people view him as an expert because he understands the physics.

At age 76, he is spending more time writing, doing basic science research, and enjoying a variety of medical and non-medical activities, including taking up the guitar again, rowing a single racing shell, and providing coverage at a local university (Howard) when the current division chairman is not available. He continues to teach those around him the importance of appreciating how the people you encounter nearly every day can truly impact your life.

Changing Tides

Due to his extensive knowledge and longstanding experience in neuroscience, Dr. Uscinski was recruited to join eviCore. Why would someone so passionate about their practice accept a medical administration job? “Simply put, I was impressed with the quality of the people I met during the interviewing process as well as the mission of the company as I perceived it, and I have not been disappointed at all!" he says.

The way he sees it, eviCore's culture is steeped in a commitment to improve the practice of medicine, and that includes ongoing study of the doctor/patient relationship.

The Human Factor as the Cornerstone of Medical Practice

A little girl who asks him if she's going to die, a drunk who tells him that he takes whatever he can get his hands on, or countless others facing up to life-threatening surgeries and conditions—Dr. Uscinski has encountered his share of patients going through very challenging circumstances. He recalls with gratitude the honesty people were willing to express with him, and the trust they gave him. To bond with such patients requires compassion and not just avid clinical interest, he says. “It's all based on trust, and it has to go both ways."

Helping people who face nearly impossible circumstances every day but refuse to give up—in his opinion, that's where a medical team to support that passion to fight is most vital.

Dr. Uscinski approaches each patient as a human being who is likely hurting and may be scared. “Don't tell someone bad news," he says, “let them tell you, and then support them and show them that you understand them. That's all anybody really wants." And providing such support and taking care of sick people is what most physicians are truly passionate about. “It's frustrating when medicine becomes too industrialized and there's hardly any time left to spend time on people", he says. “I'd rather see two patients than 20, and deal with those two very well."

Dr. Uscinski realized he didn't want to give up on trying to improve the patient/doctor relationship—to our benefit. eviCore is proud to have him on our clinical staff, for however long he decides to honor us with his passion and “amateur" love of patient care.