HOMETOWN HERO: Thomas Batchelor, MD
Dr. Thomas Batchelor is an internist and the Medical Director of Atrium Health’s North Charlotte Medical Specialists – Huntersville. He also leads the Atrium Health COVID-19 Virtual Hospital as Medical Director. He lives on and operates Triple Play Farm in Davidson (focusing on equine facilitated psychotherapy) with his wife, Kris, and three sons – ages 17, 20, and 23. He attended the University of Virginia medical school and completed both his internship and residency at Emory University.
Tell me about your day job.
I have had the pleasure of working at North Charlotte Medical Specialists-Huntersville for the last 22 years. I serve as the medical director and see patients alongside the other eight incredible providers in the practice. We have a very unique primary care “plus” practice model and see patients from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. We offer stat labs, stat imaging, IV fluids, IV antibiotics, and IV medications, in addition to traditional adult primary care services. We also have four paramedics and a stocked SUV to make house calls for our frail patients. It is without question the most rewarding place I have ever worked as a physician.
I am also gratified to lead the Atrium Health COVID19 Virtual Hospital, in which we have been able to care for 96% of the 4000+ patients in our area in their own home since mid-March. Only 4% have had to escalate to a brick and mortar setting such as ER or inpatient. Many of these patients are unfortunately historically underserved. What inspires me is that we are creating foundational work for the future of population health management, bringing high quality affordable care to all. This has major benefit to the patient and community.
How did you uncover this passion?
I always loved science and helping people as a kid. My aunt was a nurse, and I think that medicine always seemed like a natural fit.
What inspires you every day?
Our patients and my teammates inspire me every day. I see so many brave patients that take on tough diagnoses with grace and courage. I admire colleagues making selfless sacrifices for the benefit of their patients. My wife, and her dedication to mental health in the community, also inspires me.
What are your challenges and speed bumps along the way?
Like everyone I find it hard to keep a life-work balance. My wife and I own and operate an equine-facilitated psychotherapy farm called Triple Play Farm in Davidson. We also have 3 wonderful boys we are raising. I often feel badly about my long hours, but we find a way to make it work.
Secrets to staying motivated and positive?
Surround yourself with similar-minded people. They will pick you up when you are down and vice versa. I would be a mess without my strong family at home and inspirational teammates at work.
How can Davidson residents best support you?
Wear a mask and socially distance. Wash your hands. Don’t put off medically necessary care that could lead to bigger issues later.
Andrea Nordstrom Caughey
Andrea Nordstrom Caughey is a magazine editor and lifelong writer who hit the jackpot moving to Davidson from California.