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New Family Medicine Specialist Shines on Stage and in Patient Care

Patient Stories New Family Medicine Specialist Shines on Stage and in Patient Care 

WILLITS, CA – When Andrea McCullough, MD came to the Bay Area for her residency training almost 20 years ago, she got a taste of the Northern California lifestyle and loved everything about it. “It’s the perfect mix of everything I like; eclectic, creative, full of life, but at the same time, peaceful and familiar. This area is perfect for me,” she says.  
That is just one reason why she is excited to join Redwood Medical Clinic (RMC). She is also eager to help care for the people in the community. “This has become my home. And I love being able to take care of my own neighbors, who are all friends of friends.” 
As a family physician, Dr. McCullough specializes in providing care for men, women and children. She diagnoses and treats many conditions and offers a wide range of services, including preventive medicine, vaccinations, annual physical exams, management of ongoing chronic illnesses and treatment of acute or serious medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. 

Dr. McCullough earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA. She then completed her internship and residency in family medicine at University of California San Francisco. After completing her residency she went back to her hometown in Pennsylvania, but she couldn’t stay away from California for long. 
In 2007, she moved to Mendocino County and treated patients in the emergency room at Mendocino Coast District Hospital in Fort Bragg as an emergency physician for almost 10 years. She also treated patients in the emergency room at Ukiah Valley Medical Center and Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH). 

Aside from her passion in medicine, Dr. McCullough says she loves Northern California because it allows her access to her other passions: acting and being on stage. 

Dr. McCullough has always loved acting since she was in 5th grade. “Even though I love acting, my real passion is helping people. Being a doctor gives me that opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.” 

Dr. McCullough is active in the theater scene and has been involved in more than 10 plays since moving to the area in 2007. Her first play was Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet where she played Tybalt, the main antagonist in the story. “It was exciting. I loved the complexity and I loved how everyone worked as a team to make things come together beautifully.”

Dr. McCullough says the same teamwork on stage applies to patient care. And she said being an actor has helped her immensely when it comes to treating patients. “In acting, you must have enough flexibility to adapt yourself to any role. You have to make it work to suit the part. As a doctor, we also have to be adaptable and tailor our approach depending on the patient so that they get the best care.”

Theater and medicine has also taught her empathy. “I have to be able to put myself in my patient’s shoes, so I can truly understand what they’re going through and address it accordingly.” 

Asked why she chose to join RMC, Dr. McCullough says she loves being able to work with such a great team connected to a hospital with a reputation for excellent patient care. “Having worked in the ER at HMH, I knew all the nurses and doctors and how they all go above and beyond for their patients. Everyone is so compassionate, thoughtful and welcoming,” she explains.  

She says working at RMC will also help immensely in bridging the gap in primary care. “In the ER, I have come across a lot of patients who have not been to their doctor in years because they can’t get an appointment or they fear being judged. So they show up in the ER instead.” 

“Having more primary care in the area will provide patients with better access to preventative care and to treatment options that can address symptoms earlier before they get worse.”

Asked what patients can expect from her care, “I want them to see me as a friend and an ally when it comes to their health. I want them to feel that they can come to me with their concerns without the fear of being judged and I will work with them to help them make informed decisions about their care.” 

Dr. McCullough is also fluent in Spanish and has a special interest in providing access to care to the uninsured. She is welcoming new patients at Redwood Medical Clinic, located at 3 Marcela Drive, Suite C in Willits. Please call (707)-459-6115 or visit www.howardhospital.org for more information. 

--HMH—

Redwood Medical Clinic is a service of Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital. Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 75 communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 32,700 includes more than 23,400 employees; nearly 5,000 medical staff physicians; and 4,300 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 260 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 15 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. In addition, the Adventist Health Plan serves patients in Kings County. Adventist Health ranked #10 in Becker's list of the largest nonprofit hospital systems in the U.S. for 2015. 
Visit www.howardhospital.org for more information.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Andrea McCullough, MD, a family medicine specialist is excited to provide care for the community.