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Veteran Arlington surgeons join Skagit Regional Health

Mar 11, 2019, 19:57 PM
Wolff and Whitman

General Surgeons Monroe Whitman III  MD and Peter Wolff, MD  have been partners in health care for nearly 35 years since meeting in residency at Naval Hospital – Oakland. More than three decades later, the pair can often be found together in an operating room at Cascade Valley Hospital  in Arlington performing a surgical procedure.

“At first, when we were in practice, we even did appendectomies together. Simpler procedures, but it just made it go better,” Dr. Wolff said. “Today, on bigger cases, we scrub in together. We know each other’s moves, it allows us to do cases we couldn’t do alone and it’s much faster and efficient.”

An independent practice for many years, the pair joined Skagit Regional Health in early 2019. Their outpatient office remains in the Whitehorse Medical Building, just a block away from Cascade Valley Hospital.

Dr. Whitman’s medical career started as a scrub tech while Dr. Wolff was an ED orderly. They met in residency and spent two years in Guam together. The experiences shaped their ultimate decisions to become general surgeons.

“As general surgeons, we have to cover a lot of bases. We always like the challenge,” Dr. Wolff said. “We were both trained in the Navy, so you take care of everything because you’re the only medical officer on  the scene,” Dr. Whitman said. “You handle vascular, thoracic and general surgery, plus you are the intensivist. We were very well trained and we’ve done everything.”

Wolff and Whitman

The pair has embraced minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques, which lead to a short patient length of stay and faster recovery, and they continue to learn every day.

“We have to adapt to technology,” Dr. Wolff said. “It’s definitely a challenge and you definitely have to be very flexible and embrace new ways of doing things.”

Working for years in Arlington, the two surgeons have come to know their patients well. “I see it as a family. I see them at church and at the grocery store,” Dr. Whitman said. “They know us and we treat them like family.”

The pair notes they still get a  “twinkle in their eye” when an interesting case comes in and they have a chance to head for the operating room together.  “It all just happens automatically,” Dr. Wolff said. “I don’t have to tell him what to do, he just does it and I do the same. We are a team.”



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