Helping People Is Dr. McCarrick’s Primary Motivation
“Sometimes, we use our expertise as primary care physicians to reassure patients. Sometimes, we cure their ailments or ease their pain. Sometimes, we connect them with the resources they need that make a real difference in their quality of life.”
Long before Dr. Thomas McCarrick ever held a stethoscope or peered into the depths of a sore throat, he was a kid in the Bronx who was impressed by a family doctor. It’s what motivated him to go into medicine and, specifically, primary care. “I wanted to be him. I liked science and I liked helping people. I wanted to be able to make a difference, and I saw medicine as the way to do it.”
Today, Dr. McCarrick gets a lot of satisfaction from helping his patients feel better and enjoy a better quality of life. As a family physician, he enjoys the warm feeling he gets taking care of a grandchild and then the grandparents, and maybe the parents too. He also likes the insight into their family health history. It helps him identify health risks.
As he’s gotten older, he’s also completed an additional certification in geriatrics so that he can better understand treatment of older adults. “There are patients whom I’ve cared for, for more than three decades now. I want to continue to keep them as healthy as they can be.” As a result, Dr. McCarrick is a constant presence at area nursing homes. He also spearheaded the nonprofit association Care at Home to bring medical care and other resources to homebound seniors and their caregivers.
On the other end of the spectrum, he’s the school physician for Cedar Grove Public Schools, a responsibility that he shares with Vanguard’s Dr. Robert Gorman. As a result, he’s a regular presence at Cedar Grove High School football games.
Preventive care remains top of mind, even when Dr. McCarrick is treating a patient for a cold or another illness or injury. “There’s a tendency to put it off, or address it once a year in a physical. We just try to keep it top of mind by reminding patients about important screenings or getting that flu shot. People get their air conditioners serviced every year; they get their gutters cleaned. You need to be their partner in health care, and this includes reminding them to get the preventive care they need too.”
One of the founding physicians at Vanguard Medical Group, Dr. McCarrick also serves as chief medical officer and chief informatics officer (view his full biography here). His longstanding interest in the use of information technology and computers in medicine led him to pursue a master’s degree in biomedical informatics. He’s also on the forefront of the new field of clinical informatics, having earned one of the earliest certifications.
When he’s not working, Dr. McCarrick is a self-professed fitness buff. He’s been working out with the same trainer for the past 12 years. He also enjoys ballroom dancing with his wife and spending time with family.
Dr. McCarrick is responsible for founding Care at Home New Jersey, a nonprofit organization that provides resources to support the homebound and their families and caregivers. To learn more about this organization, please visit the Connections at Home website.