Dr. Benedetto- Chatham Hospital has new surgeon
By Angela Delp, as appeared in the Chatham News
Chatham Hospital’s newest surgeon has wanted to help others since childhood. He knew at a young age he wanted to become a doctor.
“I grew up wanting to help others,” he said. “I have always been fascinated by medicine and science.
“When you’re a child you have big hopes. I dreamt of finding the cure for cancer.”
The New Jersey native is new to the area. He said he has lived in North Carolina “off and on for 12 years.”
“I first came to North Carolina in 1989, while I was serving in the Navy,” he said. “My first duty stations were in Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune.”
His Naval career included serving the USS America aircraft carrier during Desert Storm.
He was discharged from the Navy as a Lt. Commander in 1993, the same year he became licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina.
After leaving the Navy in 1993 he entered private practice in Woodbury, Tennessee and from there went on to Wilmington, Delaware.
He returned to the U.S. Navy and North Carolina in 1998. Dr. Benedetto left the Navy in 2007 to practice surgery at Chatham Hospital in Siler City.
He moved to Chatham County in November and opened his practice in UNC Chatham Surgical Associates, in January.
The medical center is located at 806 West Fourth Street, Suite A.
Benedetto said although he doesn’t have many patients, the practice is growing quickly.
“We are constantly gaining more patients,” he said. “Our office employs three people, including myself, a nurse and an office manager.”
He said he is enjoying living in Chatham because “the county is growing.”
“It’s an exciting time to be here,” he said. “I love that the county is growing but at the same time, I also like the rural atmosphere.
“I’m still getting to know the area and the people here. There really seems to be a need for my services.”
He added that he likes Chatham County’s proximity to some of the larger cities in the area.
His heart is certainly in his work.
“I think of it as more a lifestyle than a career,” he said. “The best thing about my work is helping people get better.”
He added that his job entails operating on those who are sick or have life-threatening ailments.
“Most of the time, we are able to make them better,” he said. “That is, unquestionably, the best part of what I do.”
He added, “Everyday is a rewarding experience. I feel like what I do is a gift to me.
“It’s not something I take for granted.”
He said he most often performs surgeries such as gallbladder surgeries, appendectomies, hernia surgeries, flexible screen exams such as colonoscopies, breast surgeries and upper endoscopies.
His work also includes minor surgical procedures which are sometimes conducted within the medical office.
Benedetto said, because UNC Chatham Surgical Associates is a new practice, he has set goals for the office.
“Our strategic plan is to create a stable, consistent, high quality practice that people can rely on and trust,” he said. “We want to meet the needs of Chatham County.”
The clinic will hold an open house for the community Friday, March 14 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. so members of the community can become acquainted with the staff.
Benedetto’s career includes some significant personal accomplishments.
“I am proud of my time as chief resident at Kennedy Memorial Hospital,” he said. “During my time, we had no residents drop out or change their training.
“This was the first time in history of their program.”
He explained surgical training can be very humiliating and demeaning for the residents.
“I’d like to think some of the things I did to protect these residents from abuse contributed to that,” he said.
In addition, Benedetto served on the USS George Washington aircraft carrier during Operation Enduring Freedom for more than a year in 2002 and 2003.
He also worked with a Combat Surgical Unit in Iraq in 2005 with three other surgeons. There were 45 medical personnel in the unit.
“We treated not only soldiers but Iraqis and insurgents, too,” he said. “We saw a lot of combat trauma and treated things such as blast injuries.
“We were there for seven months.”
Dr. Joseph C. Benedetto was born and raised in New Jersey. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, at the Newark College of Arts and Sciences campus in 1979.
He then received his Doctor of Osteopathy degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine in 1984.
He completed his internship and general surgery residency at Kennedy Memorial Hospitals – University Medical Center in Stratford, New Jersey in 1989.
Benedetto resides in Pittsboro and enjoys refinishing furniture and playing golf in his spare time.