Four years ago, Denis Karchebnyi was Chief of Orthopedic Surgery and the Head of Technology at a leading hospital in Moscow, Russia. Today, he is Manager of Clinical Services at AP Health.
“I graduated at the top of my class and was trained at one of the best research institutes in Moscow,” Denis says. “I had a nice job, but I decided to come to America to do what was best for my family. I didn’t have time to take all the exams to be licensed as a doctor in the U.S.; however, it turned out that surgical assisting was the perfect match for me to continue my career in the medical field over here in the states.”
After several visits to America; Denis, his wife, their three children and their dog came to the U.S. for good in 2019. He started working as a surgical assistant to an OB/GYN surgeon and later joined AP Health in 2020. He quickly became a popular assistant to surgeons in a variety of specialties, including labor and delivery, plastics, OB/GYN and orthopedics.
Building Strong Relationships with Surgeons
“I understand what it’s like to be a surgeon,” Denis explains. “Like everyone, surgeons can have very different personalities and different ways they like to work. You must understand that, but also realize that whoever the surgeon is, your role is to make their jobs easier and make them more successful.”
AP Health has been implementing what Denis does intuitively into its Surgeon Relationship Management (SRM) program. As part of the SRM program, the company has been gathering information on the preferences of the surgeons it works with and then provides that information to all of its practitioners. As a result, all AP Health practitioners are armed with information that enables them to better serve the surgeons and build stronger relationships with them.
For Denis, building those stronger relationships includes staying on top of the latest technologies and tools. Recently, when a robotics vendor was coming to the hospital to introduce some new robotic surgery equipment, Denis researched it ahead of time and gave the surgeon he works with an overview of the advances. As a result, the surgeon learned about the technology more quickly and was able to be more efficient in the operating room. He also knew that he could rely on Denis to know how to use it.
One of the surgeons Denis assists most is Dr. Daniel Chan, Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Memorial Healthcare System. They have performed some marathon surgical sessions together. Recently, they completed 10 hip and knee replacement surgeries in one day. Dr. Chan recalls, “I appreciate my awesome surgical assistant Denis for helping me close 10 hip and knee replacements that day. Teamwork makes the dream work.”
Promoted to Manager of Clinical Services
While Denis is a popular surgical assistant, he was recently promoted to Manager of Clinical Services. In this role, he helps manage the day-to-day operations at Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial South, and Cypress Creek Surgery Center. That includes scheduling nearly 20 surgical assistants and matching them to the right surgeon and surgery across multiple facilities each day.
Mentoring, Developing Employees
While managing surgical assignments and working in the OR make up the bulk of his new job, Denis enjoys helping surgical assistants develop their skills and advance their careers. He exemplifies the AP Way, which is a commitment to looking beyond the job at hand and working to make improvements to the team and to the value it provides to surgeons and company as a whole.
“I was working with one practitioner who wanted to learn more about orthopedic surgery,” Denis explains. I taught him some things and directed him to some resources where he could learn more. He made great progress, so I assigned him to an orthopedic surgery. At first the surgeon was resistant, thinking the practitioner was too inexperienced. I told the surgeon to just try him out and let me know afterwards. He called me later and said, ‘You were right. He was great.’ I am very proud of him.
“I love the company and I love my team,” Denis says. “I get excited by surgical assistants who want to learn new things. I enjoy helping them, whether it’s showing them a particular kind of suture or providing resources to help advance their knowledge in a particular specialty.”
“We have a lot of great talent here,” Denis says. “I’m happy to be doing what I can to make us even better.”