Roger DiRuggiero, MD

Physician Brings Depth and Breadth of Experience in Internal Medicine and Urgent Care

“Compassionate and excellent patient care starts with the connection between the provider and the patient.”

Long before Roger DiRuggiero ever donned a white coat or picked up a stethoscope, he was a kid captivated by a family physician. His Uncle Nick was the consummate family doctor of the 1970s, delivering babies and performing surgery. “He was my hero and one of the reasons I chose a career in medicine,” said Dr. DiRuggiero. He also found inspiration from his dad, a pharmacist who always went the extra mile for his customers.

He chose to study medicine in Italy at the University of Padova. Not only was it one of the oldest and most demanding medical schools in the world, but it was near family. He reconnected with his great aunts and uncles during his time there.

Returning to the states for his internal medicine residency, Dr. DiRuggiero worked concurrently at the hospital and an urgent care center. “In urgent care, you treat the full spectrum of ages,” he said. “I really enjoyed acute care and also liked the surgical aspect including being able to delve into orthopedics.” Ultimately, it was his inspiration to open a hybrid practice, incorporating both internal medicine and urgent care, 7 days a week.

Dr. DiRuggiero is excited to be joining Vanguard Medical Group, which follows his core philosophy of family medicine that puts the patient first. Now he looks forward to getting to know a new group of patients.

“I think the most enjoyable thing about my relationships with patients is our social connection,” he said. “It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s the Super Bowl or golf, children or grandchildren, hobbies, or interests. I search for that connection, and we have a continuous dialogue from visit to visit. It makes the office visit more personal, human to human. That helps build trust and ultimately compliance.”

Dr. DiRuggiero finds fulfillment in helping his patients on their health journey. “It’s knowing that I have a broad breadth of knowledge and skill set to treat anybody who comes to our office. They can leave knowing that they have an action plan that keeps them feeling their best.”

When he’s not working, Dr. DiRuggiero enjoys traveling, including to his beloved Italy and to St. Barts. He is an avid golfer and also is teaching himself guitar. He is passionate about staying fit and healthy and starts his daily routine with a gym workout that keeps him feeling his best.

Peter Heit, MD

Gastroenterology Specialist Peter Heit Gets to the ‘Gut’ of the Problem

“I take an old-fashioned approach to clinical exams. We talk first in my office, and again afterward. It’s a more comfortable encounter and you learn so much more.”

From an early age, Peter Heit knew his future career. In fact, at his sixth-grade graduation, he wrote down that he was going to be a doctor. “Back then, there were not too many outlets for kids who liked the sciences,” he says. “It was research or medicine, and I knew that I wanted to take care of people.”

He received a full scholarship to attend Boston University and got accepted into medical school during his sophomore year. That allowed him to take graduate and undergraduate courses concurrently, and fit in some medical research. He ruled out the other specialties and chose gastroenterology/hepatology because the specialty featured interesting procedures and had the potential to build longstanding patient relationships.

The relationships are especially important to him. “Every visit starts with a conversation in my office,” he says. “I want to make it as comfortable as possible, to allay any concerns and to find out how I can help.” Then he examines the patient in the exam room.  Finally, they meet back in the office to discuss the findings and put together a plan. “Sometimes, we focus on self-management; other times we  recommend procedures or medication. Importantly, this is a plan that evolves over time as part of continuity of care.”

Preventive care, including colonoscopy screening, is a large part of his focus. “I help my patients get past the stigma and embarrassment of this test, and understand how powerful a colonoscopy is in helping them live longer, healthier lives.” In addition, Peter treats the full spectrum of gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, abdominal pains, reflux, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and stress-related gastroenterological issues. “The enteric nervous system is second only to the brain in complexity,” he says, “and so there are quite a number of potential gastrointestinal issues.”

When he’s not working, he enjoys going to the theater with his wife. He also is a skilled clock maker and has made over 100 clocks.