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Published on July 11, 2022

10 Questions with Dr. Patrick Flynn10 Questions with Dr. Patrick Flynn

Dr. Patrick Flynn, medical director of Cape Cod Healthcare Wound Care Center in Bourne and Hyannis, discusses his career path, his love for Italian cooking, passion for sailing, life advice and the next thing on his to-do list!

Dr. Flynn, medical director of Cape Cod Healthcare Wound Care Center in Bourne and Hyannis, has specialized in wound care for more than 20 years. But his career path into this focused field wasn’t a straight trajectory. When the board-certified general surgeon first moved to the Cape in 2000, he joined a Falmouth practice with Dr. Peter Hopewood and Dr. Garry Brake. To help jump-start his practice, Dr. Hopewood suggested Flynn work one half-day a week at the wound care center, located in Sandwich at the time. The rest of the week Flynn worked as a general surgeon in Falmouth.

 “To be honest, I was just coming out of training, all gung-ho to do general surgery, and wound care wasn’t high on my priority list,” says Flynn. But as it turned out, Flynn loved working with the staff, and as he immersed himself in wound care, he became more interested in new products and technology. When Cape Cod Healthcare built a second center in Hyannis nearly nine years ago, Flynn jumped at the chance to work in wound care full time.

“I’m really trying to bring cutting-edge wound care to Cape Cod,” says Flynn, who has treated patients ranging in ages from infants to people over 100. Flynn says he treats a full gamut of wounds, including trauma, bed sores, wounds related to diabetes and surgical wounds. He recently treated a 6-year-old who ended up with a wound on his leg due to a complication from an IV.

Four years ago, at a national wound care conference, Flynn discovered a handheld device called the Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). The leading-edge technology has been a game changer for wound treatment. The noninvasive, bedside evaluation tool uses light in the near-infrared spectrum to determine tissue oxygen saturation, a key indicator of tissue health.

“Right at the bedside, within a matter of a minute, I can add additional information and make treatment decisions,” says Flynn. “The more information you have about circulation and perfusion, it’s obviously that much better for the patient, and I can make smarter decisions on how to treat them.”

What about life outside of work? We recently sat down with Dr. Flynn to talk about his love for Italian cooking, passion for sailing, life advice and the next thing on his to-do list!

What was your very first job, and what was your big takeaway?

A petroleum transfer technician. In other words, I pumped gas. It sounds so much more important when I describe it the first way. When I was in high school, friends of our family owned a local garage near Norton, Massachusetts, and I needed a job. I learned I didn’t want to work outside in the winter or in bad weather.

What are you putting off at the moment?

Buying a new car. I never find it a pleasant experience and with COVID, higher prices, supply chain issues even less so.

What life advice would you give to people?

When both of my kids graduated from high school, I framed lyrics from a country song, called “Humble and Kind,” by Tim McGraw. My message to both of my children: You’re going to get far in life if you’re kind to people and you approach life by being very humble. The lyrics focus on things you can do to be kind and humble. It’s gotten me very far in life. If you treat people well, they are going to treat you well back.

If you could have another career, what would it be?

The first thing on my list would probably be a sailboat charter boat captain. I have loved sailing since I was a young kid. There are other things I would consider as well. I like to cook, so going to culinary school and cooking for a living would interest me. I am also very knowledgeable about wine, so working as a sommelier would intrigue me as well.

Favorite time of day.

Sunset—particularly on the back of a boat.

What song is stuck in your head at the moment?

The Brothers Osbourne song called “Stay a Little Longer.”

What’s the next thing on your to-do list?

A trip to Italy. It’s at the top of my bucket list.

If not on the Cape, where would you live?

I love the coast of Maine, but probably somewhere in the Caribbean, and I could sail all the time. I have sailed throughout the Caribbean, including the British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. Kitts, St. Barths, St. Lucia, Grenada and some out-of-the-way places like the Tobago Cays, Mustique, and Bequia.

Do you have a hidden passion or talent?

I love to cook. I do all the cooking in my house, and I love Italian food. I grew up cooking with my grandmother. She was a short, little, Italian lady. I make my own pasta, and I grew up loving to cook with her.

What are you most excited about these days?

Sailing season. My wife and I milk every day out of it. We usually start sailing our boat in April, and we will be out there with hats and mittens on. I have sailed locally into late November.

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