Ehud Zusman, MD, has only been donating urology care through Project Access NOW for a year but he knows the value of his work for those in need and finds it rewarding.
“I feel that being able to access health care is something everyone should have,” he says. “I feel fortunate [The Portland Clinic] is taking part in the collaboration with Project Access NOW and allowing doctors to take part.”
Hailing from Israel, Dr. Zusman immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 22 with his wife, and got his first job stateside as a maintenance worker. “For many years I was too poor to afford health care,” he says.
Following his medical school studies at Temple University and a residency, he moved to Oregon where he joined The Portland Clinic in 2002.
It’s socially responsible for us as physicians to try to get as many people as possible the care they need.
Ehud Zusman, MD, The Portland Clinic
His experience of poverty and lack of health access informs Dr. Zusman’s work with Project Access NOW clients.
“My history is something I share with Project Access NOW clients,” he says. Most patients he sees are immigrants of limited means. “So when a colleague told me the Clinic would join the program, I was happy to sign on as well.”
The Portland Clinic’s urology practice has been our partner in donated care since early 2018. In addition to Dr. Zusman, urologist Jeffrey Woldrich, MD, also treats Project Access NOW patients. The urology specialty is a very limited resource in the community, so this gift of services allows for shorter wait times for the most urgent cases.
Dr. Zusman says, “It’s socially responsible for us as physicians to try to get as many people as possible the care they need.”
Craig Wright, MD, the Clinic’s chief medical officer, echoes Dr. Zusman’s sentiment: “At The Portland Clinic we aim to improve the health and well-being of those we serve. It is also our responsibility to be a good citizen of the community and do our share to care for those who do not have the means to access health care on their own. Working with Project Access NOW is one of the ways we provide local support to those in need.”
Dr. Zusman says Project Access NOW patients are very appreciative of the service. “One of the patients felt I wasn’t compensated enough,” he says, “so she drew me a picture, which I cherish.”