Relax, Quincy. He's not leaving.
Quincy Medical Group recently had a mild crisis on its hand when word began spreading that Dr. Stilianos Efstratiadis, a nationally recognized and extremely popular cardiologist, was leaving Quincy.
Efstratiadis, known to most as "Dr. E" because it's next to impossible to spell his last name from memory, recently was appointed assistant professor of medicine-cardiology in the Cardiovascular Division at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
If you are a patient or a friend, it's not as bad as it sounds. Stay with me on this.
QMG recently submitted the news of Dr. E's appointment to the "People and Professions" page The Herald-Whig runs to spotlight local professionals. That's where the firestorm began.
Patients and friends automatically assumed Dr. E. was leaving town.
"I am still full-time in Quincy; I am not leaving," Dr. E. said, with emphasis on the "not."
The personable -- and obviously very popular -- Dr. E. told me his work in St. Louis only will be on certain weekends. It will allow him to not only better himself as a cardiologist but help bring more advanced and cutting-edge techniques to aid patients in Quincy.
Dr. E., who has been in Quincy for five years -- and admittedly loves it here -- is an easygoing specialist with a heart of gold. If you have ever spent even five minutes with the good doctor, it is easy to understand why so any were so concerned about his supposed departure. It's impossible not to feel like a lifelong friend after little more than exchanging a handshake with the native of Greece.
Quincy, he explains, is now his home, where his roots are.
"Once a year, when I go to Greece, which is my ‘home,' I cannot wait to get back to Quincy ... because Quincy is now my ‘home,' " Dr. E. says.
When he is in Quincy, most of his time is spent at one medical facility or another. As a doctor, it's all part of the job. Most do not realize that when a "Dr." prefix is attached to your name, it can mean a lot of 18-hour days. As hard as it may seem to comprehend to an average Joe like me, that degree of dedication is a labor of love for individuals who live in the same kind of world Dr. E. does.
When he moved to Quincy, Dr. E. said he bought a new television.
"I have never watched it, I have never even turned it on," he said. "I feel like I would be wasting time."
Instead, any spare time he is afforded is usually spent going over patients' records, inspecting new research or trying to advance his own education and abilities. That's why he is undertaking this new challenge in St. Louis – but only as a visitor.
"I love this community, this city ... and am really attached," he said. "Quincy has been good to me, and I hope I have been able to give something back.
"This is my town."
Take a deep breath, Quincy. Everything is going to be OK.