Picture of Dr. Joshua Dobstaff standing in the hallway next to medical machinery and wearing a mask
Ashe Memorial Hospital hospitalist Dr. Joshua Dobstaff treats each day as a chance to build up his clinical skill set
Every day is a learning opportunity for Dr. Joshua Dobstaff.
Whether it's admitting and treating patients or balancing home life while being away for a week at a time, no two days are alike for the Ashe Memorial Hospital hospitalist. It's a juggling act, but the sense of energy and urgency that comes from helping stabilize a patient, seeing a patient continue to make strides or watching a patient walk out the door with a renewed sense of hope makes it all worthwhile.
"No two days are the same, which makes it more exciting," says Dr. Dobstaff.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Dr. Dobstaff can't remember a time when he didn't want to be a physician. Growing up, Dr. Dobstaff watched the physicians in his family take pride in their work, and it always seemed like a fun and fulfilling career.
Dr. Dobstaff graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., in 2003 with a degree in kinesiology before attending St. George's Medical School in Grenada, West Indies in the fall of 2005.
Dr. Dobstaff initially had an interest in cardiology before taking the hospitalist route during residency. Dr. Dobstaff completed his residency in internal medicine in 2012.
"I get to learn a lot about every major specialty," says Dr. Dobstaff. "Specialists don't really get to go beyond their field."
Dr. Dobstaff has been a hospitalist for six years -- most recently joining the staff at Ashe Memorial Hospital in October 2018 after fellow Ashe Memorial Hospital hospitalist Dr. Brian Sachs, who attended medical school with Dr. Dobstaff, approached him about the position.
"I enjoy the people," says Dr. Dobstaff. "Everyone is super nice, friendly and very team oriented. I really enjoy the small community based environment."
Dr. Dobstaff, who currently resides in Wilmington, is at Ashe Memorial Hospital every two to three weeks, spending the entire week at the hospital.
As a hospitalist, Dr. Dobstaff is tasked with gathering as much information as possible in a short amount of time for the purpose of efficient care. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Dobstaff has continued to rely on his clinical skill set while at the same time continually learning and elevating safety measures for patient care.
"Working in the medical field during a pandemic has been very interesting," says Dr. Dobstaff. "You're learning new things all of the time, especially what is working and what isn't working, so we have to adapt quickly. Enduring COVID has been a challenge for everyone, but we are pushing through and learning together. We rely on and trust each other, which makes it easier to manage. It's when you have those breakthrough treatments, which can hopefully lead to improvements in patient outcomes, that you begin to see how working together pays off.
When he's not busy working, Dr. Dobstaff enjoys running, date nights with his wife Lisa, and watching movies and playing catch and video games with their three boys, Henry, 10, James, 8, and Charlie, 5.