Michael Galica, MD, Primary Care Physician
The key to caring for patients is developing strong relationships; it builds trust and allows for effective communication, leading to better health. And, after decades of practicing as a UMass Memorial primary care physician, Michael Galica, MD, has not only forged strong bonds with his patients -- many whose family members he’s treated for generations -- but also with his staff and colleagues in the medical community. Simply put, Dr. Galica knows how to connect with people, a trait of a true caregiver.
Dr. Galica takes the time to find a connection with each patient, often using humor. He can be heard knocking on exam room doors asking, “Anybody home?” before he enters, starting off the visit with a joke to ease nerves. His caring extends beyond everyday check-ups, however. At times of greatest sadness in peoples’ lives he checks-in on them. “A few months after losing a loved one, when the casseroles and flowers are gone, it’s a tough time. I just ask to see if I can help in any way. It’s simply the right thing to do.”
Caregiving takes a team and Dr. Galica holds high regard for his staff, whom he sees as playing an integral role. “They are the first impression our patients receive and they help me care for them. They do a difficult job exceptionally well.” When asked to describe him, Dr. Galica’s staff are equally generous with their praise, calling him “kind, respectful, caring, thoughtful and sensitive to others.” Office Manager Kimberley Macallister said, “Dr. Galica treats us like family.”
In fact, when reflecting on his style of caregiving, Dr. Galica stated, “What isn’t about relationships?” He greatly values the collegiality he’s established with his colleagues in his group practice and across the UMass Memorial system. “It’s a privilege to be able to work in our community and have good colleagues who help each other out.”
Dr. Galica is helping develop the next generation of caregivers, taking the time to work with residents and medical students. “I have had the benefit to learn from other incredible physicians who went ahead of me – kind men and kind women who modeled what I couldn’t learn in a science book -- bedside manner. I hope that I can pass that on to future physicians.”