Rural NEPA doctor named 2020 Co-Family Physician of the Year

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PA Academy of Physicians honors Tunkhannock-based doctor

TUNKHANNOCK, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s quite an honor to be recognized as being the best in your profession.

A NEPA physician who has made a commitment to caring for patients in rural communities is receiving such an honor. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller explains why the doctor considers it a validation.

“All right Ralph, how are you?”

That’s a question Ralph Milliron of Windham Township has been asked by Dr. Ed Zurad ever since becoming his patient 30 years ago.

Mr. Milliron said, “He was a professional but he didn’t… I don’t know, he was different than some doctors.” When asked if Dr. Zurad had a personal touch, Mr. Milliron said, “Yeah, I don’t know how you put it. There you go,” he chuckled.

Mr. Milliron isn’t alone thinking Dr. Zurad is tops. Pennsylvania Academy of Physicians named him 2020 Co-Family Physician of the Year.

“I’m as good as I’ll ever be at this stage because I’ve seen 500,000 patient encounters in my career now and I’ve seen so much that now I’m finally good at what I’m doing,” laughed Dr. Zurad.

Besides being a family medicine and geriatric medicine specialist, Dr. Zurad is an educator at several medical institutions including serving as clinical professor at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.

Dr. Zurad has also taken physician assistant students like King’s College student Nick Gushka under his wing.

“I’m able to follow him around and see what he does, see how he interacts with patients, how he’s able to talk to patients, speak to people and I think it’s something every little thing he does I’ll be able to use it in the future,” Gushka said.

But it’s tending to patients that Dr. Zurad says has always been his priority. “We know when somebody is sick and nowadays from these long standing relationships I can tell just walking in the room.”

Receiving the award once from the Pennsylvania Academy of Physicians is prestigious but this isn’t the first time Dr. Zurad has been named Family Physician of the Year. He received the same honor in 2002.

“Receiving the award now makes me feel that by maintaining a rural solo family practice was the right career choice although it’s not easy,” Dr. Zurad said.

It’s that kind of commitment that might explain why he’s a repeat award winner.

Dr. Zurad said, “I love my job. I enjoy it and plan to continue it.”

Dr. Zurad shares this year’s Co-Family Physician Of The Year award with Philadelphia physician Delana Wardlaw, MD. Both will receive their awards this Friday, March 6 in Hershey.

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