May 17, 2024

Behind the stethoscope: A conversation with Dr. Scott Bonnono

We’re thrilled to house the careers of so many incredible healthcare professionals who are not only experts in their field but also dedicated to the health and vitality of their community. We caught up with Dr. Scott Bonnono, Systems Medical Director for Sound’s Emergency Medicine practice at Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona, to go behind the stethoscope and learn more about his career, practice, and life in the desert:   

How has Sound supported your professional and leadership development?  

I have been with Sound Physicians since 2018. Initially, I hadn’t planned for a leadership role. At that time, I saw my practice struggling with operations and poor culture, bogged down with frustrating processes and politics that were impacting patients. The emergency medical director position opened in 2019, and I took the role, hoping to make a difference. 

Sound has supported my professional and leadership development by connecting me to its network of other leaders across the country. I get to share my ideas and struggles with them and feel supported in my individual growth beyond the success of the practice.  

What unique aspects of Sound make it stand out in the healthcare industry?  

Sound stands out because of the valuable integrated model for emergency medicine, hospital medicine, and critical care medicine and the fact that they share ownership of the acute care hospital episode. This model translates to better patient care, hospital operations, and a better place to work for physicians when care transitions are constructive and seamless. What has kept me at Sound for the last six years is the ethical mission to fight to decrease healthcare costs in the challenging, changing landscape of our specialty. Sound’s leaders are ethical, transparent, and inspiring, and are a large part of why I’ve stayed.

Despite being such a large national medical group, I have been impressed with Sound’s commitment to using a locally driven practice management model. If practices are sustainable and performing well, Sound gives control and decision-making to the local level.  

What is your philosophy on patient care?

My personal philosophy on patient care is that all patients deserve dignity, compassion, and exceptional evidence-based emergency care delivered as efficiently as resources allow.    

What stands out about the team you work with?

Our team is a mix of newly graduated doctors, committed advanced practice providers, and doctors approaching 40 years at the hospital. We work hard and play hard. Many of us have families with young children and try to lean on one another inside and outside the hospital.  

Speaking of outside the hospital, what aspects of living in Arizona, including your experiences within the community around Carondelet, do you enjoy most, and how have these factors influenced your decision to stay?  

I am originally from Portland, Oregon, and studied and trained in New York City and Chicago; I had never even been to Southern Arizona before coming here. I fell in love with the desert. The saguaro cacti, sunsets, starry night skies, and beautiful landscapes truly have a sneaky charm that I would never have expected initially. I love Tucson for its combination of fantastic weather, outdoor activities, beautiful nature, great cost of living, excellent food, and medium-sized city, which lacks traffic and congestion compared to larger cities. 

Why should someone consider joining your local practice?  

Someone should consider joining our practice if they believe in serving patients and want to be part of a practice that will challenge industry norms regarding hospital emergency care. If they want to be challenged, grow as clinicians and leaders, and contribute to building the best program in Southern Arizona, they can do so alongside great hospital medicine and critical care colleagues.

Our program at the five community Carondelet Hospitals in and surrounding Tucson offers tremendous clinical variety and pathology and serves as a safety net for Southern Arizona. Between our five sites, we have a level 1 trauma center, comprehensive stroke center and neurological institute, structural heart center, vascular specialty center, women’s center, border medicine, the first and oldest continually operating hospital in all of Arizona, low acuity ambulatory free-standing emergency care, and more. If you want to join a practice comprised of a great team of EM/HM/CCM providers, work in a department with diverse clinical pathology, and live and play in a truly beautiful part of the country, where it’s sunny year-round, consider us in Tucson!

To learn more about Carondelet and explore a Sound career of your own, click here.

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