For Providers
Dr. Matthew Salter: Physician lessons learned from sailing

Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills physician Dr. Matthew Salter said as an infant, he was probably in a car seat strapped to a sailboat as soon as his parents left postpartum.

His family sails out of a St. Clair Shores yacht club where his father’s been a member for probably 50 years, according to Dr. Salter. Sailing can be done leisurely or competitively, and some sailing skills are applicable to being a physician, he said.

“Being on a sailboat, you're dependent on your equipment and understanding the various components of what makes the boat work,” Dr. Salter said. “Safety and practice become crucial to enjoying and successfully doing that.”

Anesthesiology, his specialty, is similar in the sense you must have a very strong background in the physiological impacts of what you're doing and the technologies you're using in the operating room. That thorough understanding is just as imperative, he said.

Although Dr. Salter has been sailing his whole life, he didn’t always want to be a physician. But as the Farmington Hills native spent more time with physician family members, the more the patient-physician relationship called to him.

“It's a commitment,” he said. “It's an obligation. It's a connection. It is respecting the trust that patients give you to help them.”

He said this relationship ends up permeating one’s whole life. People still need you when you’re out of the office. It’s your life’s work.

“It can mean that you're never off, but that's the honor of the job,” Dr. Salter said.

He received his medical degree from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed an Anesthesiology residency at Henry Ford Hospital. He completed an Internal Medicine residency and a Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, formerly the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York.

A New York lanyard from his time there still hangs around his neck, and that’s where he met his wife, ophthalmologist Dr. Amanda Salter, even though they grew up about 10 houses from each other in Farmington Hills.

The couple live in Birmingham now with their daughters, Liora, 8, and Daphne, 6. And both physicians work for the Farmington Hills hospital.

Farmington Hills is where the couple’s friends, family and neighbors go. As someone who grew up in the city, its success is important to Dr. Salter.

He’s the hospital’s patient safety and quality officer, a position he’s honored to have and sought out because he wanted to make even more of a commitment to the hospital. It’s a place he’d like to practice at for the rest of his career if possible.

“I love what I do,” he said. “I love who I do it with. I'm very proud to be a part of, not only my department, but the whole perioperative team at Farmington Hills really does a wonderful job and takes a lot of pride in what they do.”

“It's a very special place to work.”

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