SCRANTON -- You don't hear of doctors making house calls very much anymore but one will start in Lackawanna County on a voluntary basis.
Pennsylvania Ambulance's newest vehicle in its fleet has "physician" written on each side. That physician is the newest employee of the ambulance service based in Scranton.
But he's not exactly an employee. The Philadelphia native is fresh from his residency program but started working on ambulances as a teenager. He's volunteering to be here.
"When I say EMS guy, I don't mean and EMS guy that's going to sit behind a desk and push papers. I don't want to do that. I want to be in the field," Dr. Sean Morgan said.
Dr. Morgan is an emergency room doctor at a hospital by day. In his free time, he's the first ambulance physician to serve in our area.
"It definitely takes a special physician to want to work in the EMS environment. It is vastly different than an emergency room. I think it's admirable that he has that drive to want to do that," said Pennsylvania Ambulance operations manager Bruce Beauvais.
Beauvais says the EMTs and paramedics will be able to learn from Dr. Morgan.
EMTs and paramedics are also regulated by the state in which drugs they can administer and which services they can provide. Dr. morgan is not, so he has many more tools at his disposal.
Pennsylvania Ambulance will soon have a physician serve in the Wilkes-Barre area too, and there are long-term plans to make doctors actual staff.
"I'm hoping that in the next five years we'll have an emergency medicine residency, to kind of go with the med school so that will also pique interest with EMS," said Dr. Morgan.
For the patient, a doctor's presence means hospital care starts that much sooner and, at least for now, at no extra cost.
"It will give the patient a certain level of trust that now we have a physician here and that they're going to be well taken care of," said Beauvais.