Physician’s Abrupt Departure Stuns Community

The emergency entrance to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Onley, Va. File photo by Jay Diem.

— By Carol Vaughn

Patients of the only neurologist practicing on Virginia’s Eastern Shore were shaken this week by the news of his abrupt departure from Riverside Eastern Shore Physicians and Surgeons.

“Like most companies, Riverside does not discuss the reason for the departure of team members,” Riverside spokesman Peter Glagola said Wednesday in an emailed statement.

“We are in the process of contacting our neurology patients on the Eastern Shore by phone and mail,” he said, adding, “The continued care and wellness of our patients is our first priority.”

The health care organization is in the process of hiring an interim neurologist to work on the Eastern Shore, and “is actively recruiting a neurologist to join the Eastern Shore medical team,” Glagola said.

The ability to care for stroke patients in the emergency department remains unchanged, according to the statement.

Dr. Robert Paschall has practiced medicine on the Eastern Shore for more than three decades, and in 2019 was honorary chairman of the Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Ball.

Multiple people said via social media posts that they had received voicemail messages informing them that their appointments with Paschall the next day were canceled.

Paschall, who received his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, specialized in treating stroke, adult behavioral disorders, autism, metabolic encephalopathy and infections of the central nervous system, according to the Riverside website.

A petition to Riverside Health Services to reinstate Paschall was started Wednesday on

“Dr. Paschall has been a pillar for our small hospital and community for decades, treating patients in his office, the emergency room, and the hospital,” the petition reads in part.

The petition had been signed by more than 500 people within five hours after it was started.