After 40 years of caring for community members in Wayne County, Dong-Gi Hong, M.D., is scheduled to retire on December 14th. Dr. Hong has been a member of the medical staff at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital since 1972 and was in private practice in Lyons until he joined Rochester General Medical Group (RGMG), an affiliate of Rochester General Health System in 1998. During his years as an Internal Medicine physician, Hong has worked tirelessly to advance the standard of patient care as one of the first Internists in Wayne County; through his work on the Newark-Wayne and Rochester General Health System committees and boards; and through other community work.
“I wanted to be a doctor since I was a very young boy,” said Hong. “I liked the sound of the job. It was interesting to me. Through my school (in South Korea), I learned to speak English and was encouraged to come to the United States by the missionary professors in medical school. When I was in residency training in Boston, one of the senior residents encouraged me to come to Lyons/Wayne County. That is where his wife was from. I did and the rest is history as they say…”
If you are a patient of Dr. Hong’s, you will quickly see that he embodies everything that most people probably want in a doctor. He is quiet-spoken and empathetic with his patients and family members and always takes the time required to figure out solutions that will work for their individual medical situation…
While this might make his office sound like a scene from “Marcus Welby MD” or maybe “House”, it really isn’t. He has seen a great deal of change in the way patients are cared for over the last 40 years.
When electronic medical records (Rochester General Health System’s “Care Connect” system) went live at the RGMG practices last year, Dr. Hong, as did all RGHS physicians, took the training and was quickly on board…
“It is good for our patients and so it is a valuable tool,” he said. So now “Care Connect”, along with his unhurried, personal touch has been a part of his brand of caring for his patients for close to a year …
“I wasn’t sure if Wayne County was the right place for me when I first came here from Boston,” he added. “I quickly figured out that people here have the range of medical problems that would make this job interesting…I also saw that people here are nice and welcoming and really needed the medical care I could provide. I have no regrets.”
“Being here has been a good fit for me and my family,” he added with a little trepidation. “It is time that I retire. I am ready to find out what is next”.
Joining Dr. Hong to give his best wishes last week were two long time patients, Joe Frendino and Emma Barnes. Joe attested to the wonderful care he received and friendship he made over the last 25-30 years with Dr. Hong.
“He is like a good barber. You can just sit down and he just knows what you need without asking. It was very comfortable,” said Ferndino.
Emma believes she has been coming to Dr. Hong for about 10-15 years. She asked again when he was leaving, and felt sad to see him go.
John Wehrle, M.D., a Family Practice physician, will be starting in the Lyons Rochester General Medical Group office in December. For information on Dr. Hong’s retirement celebration or on Dr. Wehrle, call (315) 946-6075.