New Brunswick: New Chief Pediatric Surgeon at Saint Peter’s University Hospital


Lindsay Grier Arthur III was enjoying a family vacation with his wife Kiersten and their three children when a woman’s voice rang out.

It turned out to be the mother of a young patient he had treated for a life-threatening condition during his first year of practice as a pediatric surgeon. Called necrotizing enterocolitis, it affects the intestines of premature infants. It was one of several surgeries Dr. Arthur had to perform to save the child’s life — which was never forgotten it.

Although he is a native of Minnetonka, Minnesota, Dr. Arthur, now age 51, majored in chemistry and graduated cum laude from Princeton University, and subsequently matriculated at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. That is when he became interested in surgery, specifically pediatric surgery — a specialty practiced by about 1,200 surgeons nationally. It involves everything from the more common emergency surgeries such as appendectomies to elective surgeries on inguinal hernias in newborns.

After 16 years at Jefferson, he was approached to join the Saint Peter’s Healthcare System by its president and CEO Leslie D. Hirsch, and the late Dr. Bipinchandra Patel, who served as the chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick. Dr. Patel helped launch The Children’s Hospital about 30 years ago, but passed away mere weeks before Dr. Arthur started at Saint Peter’s.

“(Hirsch and Patel) had so much enthusiasm for the hospital and for its future direction,” Dr. Arthur said. “Their excitement conveyed their belief that it was the best hospital in the world. And if I could do 25% of what Dr. Patel did for this hospital, I’d walk away happy for what I’ve provided and I think I would be very proud of that accomplishment — he was a wonderful man.”

An important thing Dr. Arthur has learned that it is important to not only put young patients at ease, but earn the trust of their families. These are moms, dads and grandparents who are about to put their child’s life in his hands.

“Even in this day of masking up, I will often take my mask down, albeit briefly, so they can see my face to help develop trust in what we are saying,” he said. “I think so much of communication is nonverbal. If you can express confidence in what you’re saying and what you’re doing and give them good information, they can then trust you to answer all their questions and be ready to move forward with a surgery.”

By the way, the mom who singled out Dr. Arthur during his vacation didn’t stop there: she asked him to join her and her coworkers who were seated nearby; related the situation to them; and repeatedly thanked him for his heroic pediatric surgery skills. “It was just an incredible experience for me,” Dr. Arthur said.

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