Tyler H. Jenkins, D.O., has joined the medical staff of Northern Regional Hospital to serve as a hospitalist physician for inpatients at the nationally recognized 133-bed community hospital.
A board-certified physician, Dr. Jenkins served previously as a hospitalist at Carilion Giles Community Hospital in Pearisburg, Virginia; and, prior to that, served for seven years as a physician in the U.S. Army.
“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Jenkins to our medical staff,” said Jason W. Edsall, MD, chief medical officer of Northern Regional Hospital. “His broad-based medical knowledge and leadership experience, as well as his demonstrated commitment to providing quality care to patients, is a great fit for our hospital.”
Dr. Jenkin’s path to becoming a physician and, ultimately, a hospitalist (a specialist for inpatient care) was developed over time. “Some people have that flash-bulb moment; but my decision grew from a slower process – culminating, finally, in late-middle school, when I decided that being a physician was what I was going to do,” he said. His choice of a career was fueled, in part, by his love of science and chemistry – disciplines that served him well during his later studies in medical school and throughout his advanced medical training.
Dr. Jenkins’ approach to patient care is to treat the patient as opposed to the actual diagnosis. “I focus on each patient’s individual needs by engaging with them to address the issues they bring up and answer their questions,” he said. “I’m understanding and very straightforward; and patients appreciate that I give them information about their condition along with a range of possible treatment options. I’ve found that most people prefer you to be straightforward rather than hedge around the matter.”
“In general, I love being a puzzle solver, by finding out what’s going on and then putting all the little pieces together in a way that improves a patient’s quality-of-life and outcome,” he said.
After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the young graduate was accepted into West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, in Lewisburg, West Virginia, and also enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves as a 2nd Lieutenant. After earning his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree in 2010, the newly minted doctor’s military status shifted from reservist to active duty, he was promoted to the rank of captain, and assigned to the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, where he began a three-year residency program in internal medicine.
Jenkins became more acutely aware of the role of a hospitalist physician through his association with Dr. George Imuro, a hospitalist and one of his clinical professors during his residency training. “Dr. Imuro was extremely supportive and helpful to me,” he said. “His direction and guidance helped me keep my head on straight.” Jenkins also found comfort and strength in the merged duality of medical training and military experience during his residency. “I wanted to have an experience that was something more than just a straight-line education of putting your face down in books. It was exciting to be part of something greater than myself; to be connected to a larger group while building character and broadening your experiences.”
Following the completion of his residency program, Dr. Jenkins spent the balance of his military career serving in a variety of progressively more responsible roles — including, among others, Battalion Surgeon and Clinical Officer-in-Charge at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Brigade Surgeon and Clinical Officer-in-Charge at Fort Bragg. During these assignments, he had command responsibility for the clinicians who reported to him and were tasked with providing comprehensive medical care to anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 soldiers. He also completed live combat training and served as the chief medical officer for two international training exercises — in Liberia and the Netherlands. “I’m probably the only physician who treated a case of malaria in the Netherlands,” he said with a laugh.
Dr. Jenkins is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine; and has served on that organization’s Education Committee. He was an Instructor for Combat Medic Training courses while in the Army; and served as a Graduate Medical Education (GME) Committee resident representative for the Family Medicine Residency Program at the Carilion Clinic.
Dr. Jenkins is looking forward to working with colleagues and applying his medical knowledge and skills to help inpatients at Northern Regional Hospital. “Everyone I met at Northern was respectful and pleasant,” he said. “All the hospitalists work together to help ensure optimal patient care, and we have good access to sophisticated resources.”
As a fitness buff, Dr. Jenkins enjoys organizing and participating in physical activities and educational outings with his family – including his wife Holly, a graphic designer, and their two sons: seven-year-old Arthur, and three-year-old Adam. “We like to swim, bike, go on walks, and take trips to science museums,” said Jenkins. He’s also always ready for an extended table-top role-playing game with his buddies. “That’s a big hobby of mine,” he said.
For more information about Northern Regional Hospital, visit www.choosenorthern.org.