After two months on the job, UC Merced’s first full-time medical director has already entrenched himself in campus life and understanding student needs.
Dr. Brandon Boggs, a Merced native, has practiced emergency medicine for the past 10 years, including seven as medical director for an emergency department in Oakdale. Early in his career he worked as a family practitioner in private practice with a cardiologist and pulmonologist, and served as medical director of large nursing and rehabilitation center.
“The practice of medicine allows me the opportunity to help someone each and every day,” said Boggs, who received his medical degree at Chicago Medical School's Finch University of Health Sciences. “This brings satisfaction in my career and joy in my daily life.”
Now he is using his experience and expertise to make sure UC Merced’s student population is receiving the best medical care possible.
While his role and responsibility is to provide clinical oversight and leadership for the student health services center, he said he will never stop seeing patients.
“The joy of being a doctor is in seeing the patients,” Boggs said. “With my wide range of skills and experience in emergency medicine, I can now help a student population that is active in their health care and will research the advice I give them.”
His long-term goals for the center include: attaining accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care; forming committees for quality improvement, risk management, and infection control and safety committee; capturing patient satisfaction evaluations; and facilitating ongoing provider education and student outreach projects.
During the interview process, Boggs said he realized that while many students are using the medical services available at the H. Rajender Reddy Health Center on campus, many more don’t know the center exists.
His first charge is to get the word out about the breadth of services that are available to enrolled students, which include a full range of primary care medicine, travel medicine, immunizations, women’s health, men’s health, CLIA-waived laboratory evaluations and allergy treatments.
“One of the major advantages of where the student health center is located is that it’s right next to where the students live, so they can come over at any time,” Boggs said, referring to its location across from student housing. “We are very flexible with our schedule, and we will make sure that we fit them in.”
The student health center employs two full-time attending physicians — including Boggs — along with a physician’s assistant, a registered nurse and two medical assistants. The center is in the process of recruiting another physician’s assistant and a licensed vocational nurse.
Boggs said he feels it is important that he and other health center staff members are visible to students on campus.
“I’d like them to see us going to lunch where they go to lunch,” he said. “(Hanging out) in the places where they hang out, so they can see that we are here — and there for them.”