Finding his "happy place" and building a resuscitation and critical care program Nicholas Montano, MD

Nicholas Montano, MD

Nicholas Montano, MD recently joined Adventist Health North Coast Network as Director of Resuscitation and Critical Care.

Mendocino County residents understand importance of having access to life-saving critical and intensive care, close to home. Because every second counts, we’re thrilled to welcome Nicholas Montano, MD to the Adventist Health North Coast Network as Director of Resuscitation and Critical Care. In this position, he will develop clinical and education programs aimed at enhancing the quality of care in high acuity and clinically complex cases.  

In his additional role as Core Faculty with our Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Family Medicine Residency program, Montano will provide clinical support and guidance for our residents as they care for patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  

Montano brings a unique skillset, both as a physician and medical educator with dual board certifications in emergency medicine and anesthesiology critical care medicine plus over 20 years of experience in adult learning. His training and experience are centered on trauma-surgical critical care and resuscitation dynamics, while his career has been enriched by roles in prehospital emergency medicine and rescue services as a Firefighter/EMT. 

Dr. Montano’s Journey to Mendocino County 

Montano’s career journey is as unique as his medical specialty. As a high school student working at a Blockbuster store in the Los Angeles area, Montano was inspired to follow the paths of film characters, like an FBI profiler or arson investigator. Then, while exploring a career in firefighting, he became an emergency medical technician (EMT).  

At 18, Montano decided to move near family in northern California, and joined the Oakland Fire Department.  During his time in Oakland, he immersed himself in community and volunteer efforts, even creating an EMT program for Bay Area high school kids. An opportunity to teach in the UCLA paramedic program took him back to Southern California. 

His career trajectory pivoted during an EMT rotation in South Central Los Angeles. Just as Montano and his partner were leaving the hospital after dropping off a patient, a man pulled up to the emergency department with a teenage boy who had multiple gunshot wounds. Montano, his partner, a hospital nurse and an emergency physician worked together to resuscitate the youth. Montano was inspired to push himself further by becoming a physician specializing in emergency and trauma medicine. 

Montano traveled back to Northern California to attend San Francisco State University and then UC Davis for medical school. He completed his emergency medicine residency at Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center and fellowship in anesthesiology critical care medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center. After a brief time on the East Coast, he returned to Northern California.  

While searching for a place to live and work long-term, Montano looked north.  

“On a whim, we decided to take a drive to the Mendocino and ended up stopping in Albion. The view just took our breath away. I’ve found my happy place.” 

That started a cascade of events, and he reached out to our physician recruiter and Greg Eberhart, MD, Medical Officer.  

“We’d been wanting to move to a less urban area and find a place for our family to plant roots and have a better quality of life for our kids. To make a long story short, I really wanted to be in Mendocino County, and help support our rural communities and help ensure they have access to the best care possible.” 

Montano is most excited about the culture of perpetual improvement and being open to trying new things.

“So far, everyone I’ve met has been very open to collaborating and learning together, and you don’t find that in a lot of places… I’m eager to see what we can build together.” 

When not attending to an intensive schedule, Montano enjoys spending time with his wife, their two young sons and German Shepherd. Montano and his family are eager to explore our beautiful county, climbing foothills and hiking trails. And his new hobby is no surprise – he is a professional volunteer for Mendocino Search and Rescue.

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