It didn’t take her long to realize that music, while “fun,” would not be enough for her.
Dr. Alter returned to school, earned an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, entered medical school and practiced medicine for more than 20 years in New Jersey before deciding it was time for another change. In early November, she became the first physician to begin practicing with the FirstHealth Richmond Medical Group-Internal Medicine.
Located at 809 Long Drive, Suite H, in Rockingham, the new practice will eventually include other specialists in internal medicine.
“Our plan is to offer Richmond County residents a variety of local options for their health care choices so they feel comfortable about staying ‘at home’ when seeking medical attention,” says John Jackson, president of FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital. “Dr. Alter is the first physician in a practice that we expect will easily fulfill that goal.”
Raised in Philadelphia, Dr. Alter graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers even though she continued to work as a musician while going to school. After graduating, she went immediately into medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, earning her medical degree in 1983. She completed a residency in internal medicine there in 1986.
Before moving south in search of a rural area and “something warmer,” Dr. Alter was owner and CEO of a medical practice in Westville, N.J.
“I really liked the people a lot and thought I could like to be here,” she says of her first visit to Richmond County.
Drawn to medicine by a long-time interest in science, Dr. Alter will provide primary care for adults of all ages and children over the age of 12. Aside from treating patients who are ill, she also plans to focus on disease prevention and patient education.
“Medicine has grown toward more of a preventive approach, establishing good health patterns with eating and exercise,” she says. “We’ll be focusing on anything we can prevent. The big challenge is to maintain overall health with vaccinations, immunizations and medications to prevent further problems.”
Dr. Alter resides in Richmond County with her two dogs, both of them rescued animals. In her spare time, she enjoys playing chamber music, gardening and bird watching.
I wanted to be in a more rural area, so this is really a thrill for me,” she says.
Lauren Alter, M.D., is now accepting patients at FirstHealth Richmond Medical Group-Internal Medicine. To make an appointment, call (910) 417-4005.
FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital is a division of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.