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Radiologist buried in work and loves it

Serving at Seven Rivers hospital since April keeps him busy and away from HMOs.

By JIM ROSS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 19, 2002

CRYSTAL RIVER -- Dr. James Quigley is a busy man these days. But that's fine. He likes it that way.

Since April 1, Quigley has served as an interventional radiologist at Seven Rivers Community Hospital. The hospital brought him in because the two radiologists who previously served Seven Rivers changed the structure of their practices.

Quigley works Monday through Friday at the hospital and also handles X-rays and other work that comes in from Seven Rivers' two outpatient imaging centers in Dunnellon and Beverly Hills. On weekends, Seven Rivers has long relied on two radiologists from outside Citrus to travel here and serve patients' needs.

Quigley's workload is high but he is accustomed to that. From 1981 to 2001 he was among the most prolific partners in a large (18 doctors) radiology group in Tampa. During that time, he also served as an attending physician at St. Joseph's Hospital and Town & Country Hospital, not to mention his work as a clinical associate professor at the University of South Florida.

Although he enjoyed his work, Quigley said financial pressure from managed care companies caused him to leave Tampa. On average, he was being paid 27 cents for ever dollar he billed.

So Quigley headed a bit north. In May 2001 he became a partner in an Alabama radiology group. In Alabama, he explained, HMO penetration is only about 2 percent, far less than the penetration they have achieved in Tampa.

The arrangement was manageable. Quigley's family remained in Tampa; he worked in Alabama during the week, then flew home for weekends.

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, however, air travel became burdensome. "The commuting thing wasn't working out," he said.

So Quigley started looking for a new position closer to home. Seven Rivers was recruiting radiologists, and hospital administrators were pleased when Quigley inquired about the hospital and eventually agreed to come on board.

Quigley graduated from George Washington University Medical School in Washington, D.C., in 1976, completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and then returned to George Washington to train in diagnostic radiology. He is currently board certified in interventional radiology and angiography.

But the hospital isn't the only party thinking it got a good deal. The arrangement also suits Quigley.

"You have to go to a rural setting to get away from HMO penetration," he said.

Beyond that, this opportunity gave Quigley a chance to be a sole practitioner for a while.

He hopes to recruit another interventional radiologist to join him.

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