Dr. Shari M. Hogan, 36: Child & Adolescent Health Associates

 

Dr. Shari M. Hogan recalls being a bad patient as a child.

“Dr. Perciaccante said I used to scream all the time,” the pediatric doctor said, laughing.

The now-retired Dr. Ronald G. Perciaccante towered over Dr. Hogan when she was a child and his patient. But thanks to guidance he provided later in life, Dr. Hogan now walks in his shadow at Watertown’s Child and Adolescent Health Associates on Washington Street.

People providing such guidance is one key to success for young people in the north country, Dr. Hogan said. She trained with Dr. Perciaccante, and at one time shared an office with him at CAHA a few years ago.

“I feel very blessed having trained with him,” said Dr. Hogan, who is also chief of pediatrics at Samaritan Medical Center.

Dr. Hogan also took advantage of other opportunities available in the north country for young people considering medical careers. She shadowed Dr. Alfred L. Gianfagna at Watertown Pediatrics and took advantage of career exploration programs as a high school student at General Brown Central School, where she graduated in 1995.

Also helping her to pursue her career were scholarships from the Northern New York Community Foundation and the Northern New York Rural Health Care Alliance.

With a medical degree, Dr. Hogan could have picked anywhere in the country to practice. But she decided to return to Northern New York.

“It’s where I’m from. It’s where my roots are. I find family is very important,” she said.

But there was something else.

“I wanted to give back to the community and do sort of what Dr. Perciaccante did for me.”

Dr. Hogan serves the community in other ways in addition to her medical service. She has been a board member of the Thompson Park Conservancy, the Jefferson Physicians Organization and the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization.

She has cut back her civic duties the past couple of years to focus on raising her family. She and her husband, Jared M., a state trooper, are the parents of 2-year-old Lacy and 3-month-old Leah.

“They are only young once,” Dr. Hogan said. “It’s important to spend time with them while they are home.”

She plans to ramp up her civic volunteer duties again once her children are in school. She now balances family and home life by working 12-hour days and being on call at SMC.

On her journey as a mom, Dr. Hogan has discovered something.

“I think I’m a different and better pediatrician since I became a mother, that’s for sure,” Dr. Hogan said. “It definitely puts another aspect to it. You have more empathy.”

As a child, Dr. Hogan didn’t think that one day she would be a doctor, especially since she is the first in her family to attend college. She credits an adviser at St. Lawrence University, Canton, where she graduated in 1999, for urging her to consider a medical career. At the time, she didn’t think it was sound advice.

“I literally laughed,” Dr. Hogan said.

But after giving it serious thought, she applied to SUNY Upstate Medical University.

“It was meant to be,” Dr. Hogan said. “It sort of fell in my lap in one way, but you had to work really hard academically and build your resume with a lot of community projects.”

She added, “Anybody can do it as long as you work hard and find the right people to motivate you and support you.”

She wants to encourage other young people considering a medical career to find that motivation. Some medical students have asked if they could shadow her, including one who has been accepted to SUNY Upstate Medical University.

If she does inspire others to pursue the medical profession, the students will discover what motivates Dr. Hogan professionally.

“I love my job,” she said. “I like getting to watch the kids grow up. I like promoting health prevention and safety. It’s also about the relationship with families you develop over time.”

— by Chris Brock

Hogan_Shari_a

The Dr. Shari M. Hogan File

Hometown: Dexter

Professional position: Pediatrician, Child and Adolescent Health Associates, Watertown; chief of pediatrics, Samaritan Medical Center

Family: Parents, Mason and Polly Swan; husband, Jared M. Hogan, New York state trooper; children, Lacy, 2, and Leah, 3 months

Education: General Brown High School, 1995; St. Lawrence University, magna cum laude, 1999; Upstate Medical University, 2003, doctor of medicine; internship and residency in pediatrics, University of North Carolina Children’s Hospital, Chapel Hill, 2006

Community involvement: Board member: Thompson Park Conservancy, Jefferson Physicians Organization, Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization. Early stages of creating a Reach Out and Read Program at her practice. The national nonprofit promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms by integrating children’s books and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud into well-child visits.

Last book read: “The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room” by Stan and Jan Berenstain. “I read it to my daughter last night before she went to bed.”