Medicine wasn't the top career choice for Dr. Daniel McCauley, a Turlock obstetrician who has cared for expectant mothers and delivered thousands of babies at Emanuel Medical Center in the past 30 years.
Raised in Northern Ireland, in a coastal town on the north Atlantic, the future doctor wanted to work on merchant ships, but could not pass the eyesight and color-vision tests for maritime service, he said.
McCauley went on to earn his medical degree from University College in Dublin, completed his postgraduate training in London and was admitted to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
On advice of his classmate Brian McCaffrey, McCauley came to the United States in 1975, where "everything was new and big and on the cutting edge of medicine," he said. The two Irish-born friends eventually brought their medical skills to Stanislaus County. McCaffrey is a urologist in Modesto.
McCauley is the 2013 recipient of the John Darroch Memorial Award for the physician of the year, an honor given by the Stanislaus Medical Society. During his more than 30 years of practice in Turlock, he has earned respect for his knowledge, dedication, cooperative nature and clinical excellence, the society said.
McCauley has a group practice with Drs. Roger Lewis and Roya Dehkordi called OB/GYN Associates on North Olive Avenue. He devotes time seeing indigent patients at a satellite office in Patterson and a clinic in Livingston.
Having received his training in England's national health service, McCauley said he's not afraid of the federal government's initiative to expand coverage to 30 million uninsured U.S. residents. He said it may "rationalize" health care, or make it easier for people to understand the system, but he's concerned that sufficient cost controls were not built into the reforms.
"It may be a lot more expensive than originally anticipated," he said.
McCauley serves on the medical executive board of the 209-bed Emanuel Medical Center. He said it was inevitable that the church-owned independent hospital would merge with a larger health system. The hospital is being acquired by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., which owns Doctors Medical Center of Modesto and Doctors Hospital of Manteca.
"Emanuel had no negotiating leverage with insurance companies and, especially in rural California, the Medi-Cal volume is high and the payments are low," McCauley said. "It certainly had a significant effect on the bottom line for Emanuel."
The doctor added that the change in ownership should be good for the medical staff and hospital employees.
After coming to the United States, McCauley completed a residency at Boston City Hospital and then moved west to practice in the Bay Area. He found that practicing in a large city wasn't for him, and his former classmate suggested he start a practice in Turlock.
McCauley took the oath as a U.S. citizen in Modesto and married Livingston native Catherine Ingrid Arakelian. Her brother, Ronald Arakelian, is a physician in Turlock.
During his leisure time, McCauley has enjoyed sailing on San Francisco Bay. He's a gardener and reader of European history.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2321.