Empathy and instinct in anesthesia: Meet Candice Cody, MD
Anesthesiologist Candice Cody, MD excels at monitoring every moment of a patient’s care before, during, and after surgery. Her skill and calming demeanor are constants whether the surgery is routine or an emergency.
In this Q&A, discover what inspires Dr. Cody’s empathy, instincts, and love for her specialty – and the kick she gets when patients learn she was a three-season Survivor contestant.
What does care mean to you as a physician, and how did that guide your decision to work at MAPMG?
“Many people think of anesthesia as just taking care of a patient during surgery, but we really care for the patient throughout the admission, anesthesia, surgery, and recovery process. It’s a unique specialty because we balance the patients’ needs as they change over the course of even one procedure.
“There are a lot of wonderful things about being part of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (MAPMG) network. We use technology in really innovative ways to provide the best care possible. Despite all of our efforts to get every question answered before surgery, if something changes and we need answers quickly, we’re able to contact a specialist in real-time and send information from a patients’ chart, get test results, and get answers right away.”
What are the most interesting things happening in your field right now?
“Our Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programs follow an integrated approach to the perioperative management of pain, nutrition, physical therapy, and more to ensure that patients return to normal function as quickly as possible after surgery. Our anesthesiologists use ERAS protocols for many surgical service lines including orthopaedics, general surgery, gynecology/oncology, and obstetrics with plans to expand to other services in the near future.
“Our goal in anesthesiology is to create an individualized approach to enhancing every patient’s journey through the perioperative period. With the ERAS protocols and our integrated preoperative screening and treatment processes, we are able to offer our patients the highest quality of care in the most timely manner possible.”
As a busy physician, what keeps you driven? What keeps you balanced?
“I work in the moment, minute to minute and second to second. Wherever I am, if anything happens, I feel confident that I can move into action. I am a tool that can be used to help patients, anytime and anyplace. This continues to keep me motivated. Sometimes there are emergencies, especially in labor and delivery.
“In an obstetrical emergency, things move quickly, and this can be stressful for the parents-to-be. I act quickly to ensure the safety of the mother and the baby, but I’m also there to hold their hand and talk them through the emergency. I value being able to use both my medical expertise and empathy in the moment to safely and calmly guide the patient and her family through a stressful experience.”
What are you most proud of when it comes to your professional career and the care you’re able to provide your patients?
“I’m most proud of the detail with which I practice on a daily basis. I begin each patient encounter a week or two before we ever meet when I review their medical history and prepare for their scheduled case. I lay out a plan for their anesthetic and discuss outstanding issues with surgeons and specialists prior to meeting the patient on the day of surgery. I take great care in preparing the operating room for their arrival on the day of surgery and remain vigilant over their safety until it’s time to hand the patient’s care over to the post anesthesia recovery unit nurses after the surgery is complete.
“You could say that my proudest moments as a clinician are at the end of each case when I’ve used all my expertise to guide the patient through the perioperative period in the safest manner possible.”
Learn more about Dr. Cody and her background, education, credentials, and more.
Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C. (Permanente) is our network of over 1,500 physicians who practice in our medical centers located in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia.