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General surgeon Dr. Nguyen and his office manager, Lana Bennett, enjoy a lighthearted moment at his office this week. (The Pilot/Marjorie Woodfin).
General surgeon Dr. Nguyen and his office manager, Lana Bennett, enjoy a lighthearted moment at his office this week. (The Pilot/Marjorie Woodfin).

By Marjorie Woodfin

Pilot staff writer

Brookings now has its own Board Certified general surgeon in residence at Rush Medical Center on Chetco Avenue.

Tien Nguyen M.D. moved his general surgery practice from Crescent City to Brookings Aug. 1.

Nguyen, (pronounced "Win"), who came to Crescent City in March 2006, said he decided to move his practice when he realized that 75 percent of his patients were coming to him from Brookings, and he found office space in the Rush Medical Center.

Nguyen said having an office in the Rush Center, with its well equipped outpatient surgery center, makes perfect sense for a general surgeon with advanced training in "state of the art" surgery.

Medicine is a second career for Nguyen, whose first training and occupation was in chemistry. With a master's degree in chemistry, from University of California Riverside, Nguyen spent several years in drug testing and biotec labs.

"I got tired of working in labs," he said. "I wanted some people contact."

Four years of medical school at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., and one year of internship, was followed by five years residency in general surgery at St. John Detroit Riverview Hospital in Detroit and Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Mischigan.

In addition, Nguyen received special training in laparoscopic, endoscopic and gastric bypass surgery, and received board certification as a general surgeon in 2005.

He spent one and a half years working for the Kaiser Hospital in Bakersfield, followed by one and a half years traveling the country working temporary assignments in medical practices as far away as Michigan.

After traveling the country doing a bit of research, Nguyen made his move to Brookings via Crescent City and appears to be happily settling in.

A true fan of sports, Nguyen is a member of a Crescent City co-ed softball team, a member of a United States Tennis Association tennis team, plays volleyball, and owns three mountain bikes for cycling the trails.

Nguyen is the youngest of eight children in a Vietnamese family that was flown to Guam the day before the fall of Saigon.

From Guam, the family moved to California, first to Venice, and then to Riverside. He said his father, an accountant, moved the family to Riverside, where there was only one other Vietnamese family. "He wanted us to assimilate and he insisted on education," Nguyen said.

Dr. John Rush, owner of the Rush Medical Center, said, "We have a great facility for doctors to work now. ...We now have a solid team of surgeons: Dr. Flaxel (eye surgery), Dr. Silver (colonoscopy), Dr. Bents (orthopedic surgery), Dr. Eninger (eye surgery), and Dr. Nguyen (general surgery)."

Rush added, "The Rush Surgery Center has the highest level of licensing in the State of Oregon to do all types of outpatient surgery. ... With two fully equipped operating rooms, we can handle a volume of surgical procedures for a population double the size of Brookings... Dr. Nguyen will be an important nucleus for that growth."

Rush explained that, as a general surgeon, patients must be referred to Nguyen by a primary care physician rather calling directly into his office. However, Rush added, he does do screening colonoscopies without a referral and accepts most insurances and Medicare.

For additional information, call Nguyen's office, (541) 469-5743.

Rush also suggests, "Visit us on the web at www.rushsurgerycenter.com."

Photo caption: Dr Nguyen practices his patience with patients working with his office manager, Lana Bennett.


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